Netflix sued for $5 million by chess master Former Soviet Chessmaster Nona Gaprindashvili is making her move against Netflix.
Gaprindashvili, known to be the first woman to win the chess grandmaster title, filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing the streaming platform of false light and defamation for a line used in “The Queen Gambit” series.
The series, which has multiple 2021 Emmy nominations, stars Anya Taylor-Joy as she plays fictional chess prodigy, Beth Harmon. During the last episode as Beth faces off with an opponent, the commentator draws up a comparison to the real chess grandmaster.
“The only unusual thing about (Beth), really, is her sex. And even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men,” the commentator says.
In the complaint filed to the Central District of California courts Gaprindashvili’s attorney describes this line as “manifestly false,” “sexist” and “belittling.”
“Netflix brazenly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s achievements for the cheap and cynical purpose of ‘heightening the drama,’ ” says the lawsuit obtained by USA TODAY. “Thus, in a story that was supposed to inspire women by showing a young woman competing with men at the highest levels of world chess, Netflix humiliated the one real woman trailblazer.”
Gaprindashvili has played at least 59 male opponents throughout her historic chess career, according to her attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs. He writes Netflix was privy to this information after it was stated in the Walter Tevis novel, from which the series is based, and after the streaming platform hired leading chess authorities as consultants for the critically-acclaimed show.
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