Chess legend sues Netflix for $5M over ‘Queen’s Gambit’ portrayal

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Netflix series claims that Nona Gaprindashvili never faced men in her career

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Soviet-era chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili sued Netflix over “The Queen’s Gambit” series, alleging defamation and saying a line in the hit show’s finale was “extremely sexist and weak”.

“The only unusual thing about him, really, is his gender, and even that’s not unique in Russia,” says the announcer of a chess tournament in the show’s finale episode. “Nona is Gaprindashvili, but she is the women’s world champion and has never faced men.”

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Asli Gaprindashvili, an 80-year-old woman from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, was the first woman to be named grandmaster, and she competed against dozens of men throughout her career.

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In fact, by 1968, the year the fictional episode was set, Gaprindashvili had “competed against at least 59 male chess players (28 of them in one game), including at least ten grandmasters at the time,” According to the lawsuit filed Thursday in Federal District Court in Los Angeles.

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Gaprindashvili’s lawsuit stated that the line was “a devastating lie in front of many millions of viewers, undermining and humiliating her achievements.”

“Netflix shamelessly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s achievements for the cheap and cynical purpose of ‘elevating the drama’, by showing that its fictional protagonist managed to do what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, has Did,” it goes on.

“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 a real female trail blazer, who actually did the same thing.” had faced and defeated men on the world stage. Era.”

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The lawsuit seeks at least $5 million for defamation and a “false light invasion of privacy,” as well as an additional $75,000 for lost business opportunities.

Gaprindashvili, who served several times in the Georgian parliament during the Soviet years, also alleged that he “confronted” Netflix after the series aired and “made a public statement acknowledging the falsity of the statement, an apology and a retraction”. demanded.”

Netflix Responds With “Extraordinary Pride”, Gaprindashvili Says In His Suit, “Dismissed” [her] Defamation claim by claiming that the false statement was ‘innocent’.

“This arrogant refusal to take responsibility for his actions was shockingly tone-deaf, given the sexism and guilt of its lies,” the suit continues.

“The Queen’s Gambit” won two Golden Globes earlier this year and garnered 18 Emmy nominations. It was so successful that there are now plans to turn it into a stage musical.

The show is based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis, but the book, according to Suits, only says of Gaprindashvili that she “has met all these Russian grandmasters too many times before.”

Netflix said in a statement to the Daily Beast, “Netflix only has the utmost respect for Ms Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim is unfounded and will vigorously defend the case.” will do.”

This story first appeared in New York Post


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