Actress loses bid to have controversial film yanked from YouTube

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

An actress recently lost a lawsuit she filed seeking to pull the immensely controversial film “The Innocence of Muslims” from YouTube. As Miami readers might have heard, the film has sparked violent unrest in several predominantly Muslim countries because of it depicts the prophet Mohammed, which is forbidden under strict interpretations of Islamic religious tenets

The actress had argued that she was conned into appearing in the 14-minute film. She said producers did not reveal the true nature of the project to her and that she was ashamed and horrified by how “grotesque” and offensive the final product was. She said that her family has received death threats because of her involvement in the film and claims to have lost work because of its affiliation with her.

She alleged that by continuing to allow it be accessed, YouTube’s parent company Google and the film’s producer were violating her right to control her own likeness.

Unfortunately for her, a judge dismissed her lawsuit because it seemed she was unlikely to “prevail on the merits,” which means she did not present enough of an argument to make a case for a reasonable chance of success.

The actress’ attorney said she will continue to seek a permanent injunction that will prevent the film from being shown.

The right of an entertainer to control how his or her image is used is very important. One’s personal brand is a vital asset and it makes good business sense to exercise as much control over it as is possible. Our office often works with actors, musicians and models. For more relevant information on this area of law, you could consider looking at our Entertainment Law website.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Judge Rejects Actress Request to Pull ‘Innocence of Muslims’ from YouTube,” Matthew Belloni, Sept. 21, 2012