Netflix Allegedly Defamed the Women’s World Champion During The “Queen’s Gambit” Finale
According to a new lawsuit, the Emmy-nominated Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit” defamed a female Soviet and Georgian chess grandmaster, Nona Gaprindashvili, during the show’s series finale.
Nona Gaprindashvili v. Netflix, Inc.
Nona Gaprindashvili, a Georgian chess grandmaster, has launched a lawsuit against Netflix over the streaming service’s allegedly libelous representation of her in the Emmy-nominated miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit.”
On the other hand, the streaming powerhouse maintains that Gaprindashvili’s “claim has no merit.”
Gaprindashvili filed a $5 million lawsuit against Netflix in California on Thursday, accusing the company of “belittling” her accomplishments as the first woman in the history of chess to be declared a grandmaster.
“The Queen’s Gambit,” which received 18 Emmy nominations this year, including a nod for best limited series, portrays Anya Taylor-Joy as a young American chess prodigy who regularly and epically defeats her mainly male competitors.
The lawsuit is centered on a scene from “The Queen’s Gambit” in which a commentator makes a reference to Gaprindashvili while reporting a match between main protagonist Beth Harmon and the fictional Russian Grandmaster Viktor Laev for the series finale’s Moscow Invitational tournament.
Elizabeth Harmon’s not an important player, the commentator remarks in the show.
It was stated that Harmon’s gender is not unique in Russia. Gaprindashvili’s name was brought up, and at the scene, they claimed she’s a female world champion that has “never faced men.”
According to The Queen’s Gambit Lawsuit, the claim that the real-life chess champion “never faced men” is completely wrong, as well as excessively misogynistic and belittling.
By 1968 — the year in which the last episode of “The Queen’s Gambit” takes place — Gaprindashvili had battled against at minimum 59 male chess players (28 of whom simultaneously in one match), including at least ten Grandmasters of the time.
Checkmate for Netflix?
The chess legend is suing Netflix for invasion of privacy as well as defamation per se as a result of a statement falsely made about her in the Netflix drama.
Gaprindashvili has also accused Netflix of mistakenly saying she is Russian although she identifies as Georgian, in addition to disrespecting her legacy. Gaprindashvili formerly competed for both Georgia and the Soviet Union.
The lawsuit claims that Netflix misrepresented Gaprindashvili as a Russian, despite the fact that the company was aware that she was Georgian and that Georgians had suffered under Russian dominance when it was still a constituent of the Soviet Union and had been harassed and invaded by Russia since then.
Gaprindashvili is suing Netflix for $5 million as well as an agreement that the streaming service will delete the assertion that Gaprindashvili never competed with a man in the series.
Netflix deliberately forged Gaprindashvili’s accomplishments for the cheap and cynical aim of ‘heightening the drama’ by implying that its fictional protagonist accomplished feats that no other female, including Gaprindashvili, had accomplished, the complaint alleges.
Thus, in a story intended to inspire women by depicting a young woman battling against men at the top levels of international chess, Netflix insulted the one true female trailblazer who faced and conquered men on the world stage during the same era.
Editor’s Note on The Queen’s Gambit Lawsuit – Netflix Sued By The Original Female Chess Champion Nona Gaprindashvili:
This article is written to inform you of the class action lawsuit filed against Netflix by real-life female chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili over the streaming service’s alleged defamation against her. Recently, a class action was also filed against Netflix concerning its 13 Reasons Why show and its related suicides amongst teens.
Case Name & No.: Nona Gaprindashvili v. Netflix, Inc., Case No. 2:21-cv-07408
Jurisdiction: California Central District Court
Allegations: Netflix miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit” allegedly defamed Nona Gaprindashvili in its season finale
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