A Judge Said Movie Studios Can Be Sued For False Advertising In Trailers After A Pair Of Ana De Armas Fans Filed A Federal Lawsuit

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From BuzzFeed News:

Two Ana de Armas fans can continue their lawsuit against Universal Pictures after a federal judge ruled Tuesday that movie studios can be sued over false advertising in film trailers.

Conor Woulfe, who is from Maryland, and Peter Michael Rosza of San Diego County, California, each paid $3.99 to rent Yesterday on Amazon Prime because de Armas appeared in the film’s trailer. They were disappointed to find she wasn’t in the film and have since January been pursuing a $5 million lawsuit as representatives of a class of movie customers who were deceived by the trailer.

On Tuesday, they cleared a hurdle when US District Judge Stephen Wilson issued an order rejecting Universal’s attempt to dismiss the entire case.

Universal had argued that the lawsuit should be thrown out because movie trailers should be protected under the First Amendment. They called the trailer an “artistic, expressive work” that conveys the theme of the film — not simply a commercial that would be covered by rules against false advertising.

“What is obvious about trailers generally and the Yesterday trailer in particular: they are expressive works in their own right and may not be relegated to a class of ‘purely commercial’ speech that receives watered-down First Amendment protection,” lawyers for Universal argued in a motion.

Lawyers for Woulfe and Rosza, meanwhile, said the two have never seen an actor present in a trailer who wasn’t also in the film. The judge allowed their allegations that Universal had violated California’s false advertising and unfair competition laws to continue to move forward in court.

. . . .

Yesterday, which was released in 2019, follows a struggling musician (Himesh Patel) who wakes up in an alternate reality where the Beatles never existed.

De Armas was initially set to have a major role in the film as part of a love triangle involving Patel and Lily James, but writer Richard Curtis told Cinemablend that she was cut out after test audiences expressed distaste for Patel ​​straying away from James.

Link to the rest at BuzzFeed News

One lesson for indie authors is to accurately depict what your book is about in your book description. This definitely doesn’t require that your book description be boring, but don’t promise what your book doesn’t deliver.

So PG doesn’t frighten anyone, in the OP, the idiot promoters included a actress who is evidently some sort of star in the advertising for the movie when the actress made no appearance in the final produce being advertised.

This wasn’t what courts often call “mere puffery” in advertising, e.g., “You’ll be shocked at the surprise ending,” when more than one reader can predict how the book will end.

1 thought on “A Judge Said Movie Studios Can Be Sued For False Advertising In Trailers After A Pair Of Ana De Armas Fans Filed A Federal Lawsuit”

  1. Ms DeArmas is a very good millenial actress who seems to have an eye for good acting projects and has done a few high profile movies:


    She’s not yet an “above the title star” but there’s barely a handful of those out there anyway. Her acting chops are unquestioned (even in controversial projects like Netflix’s BLONDE) so the plaintiffs do have a bit of a false advertising case. Just how big will be settled between lawyers.

    For publishers the biggest caveat is likely in misresenting the genre or, more egregious, using a title and/or byline intended to mislead. I vaguely remember an incident years back where somebody published under the name of Steven King. It took a while before anybody acted.

    Not sure what a seriously misleading blurb might bring for indies, though; banning from KDP?

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