Netflix Wins $ 5 Million Costume Against ‘Sexism’ From ‘Queen’s Gambit’ Line About Soviet Chess Legend


Ready to win big at This weekend’s 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, The Queen’s Gambit is now a pawn in a legal game.

Barrier-breaking Soviet chess icon Nona Gaprindashvili sues Netflix for $ 5 million in a libel suit over a line by star Anya Taylor-Joy.

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Specifically, Gaprindashvili is disturbed by the seemingly incorrect statement of the limited series ‘End Game’ finale which compares her actual accomplishments to those of Taylor-Joy’s fictional Beth Harmon. “The only thing unusual about her, really, is her gender, and even that is not unique to Russia,” jokes a commentator as Harmon plays in a hand-to-hand match in Moscow. “There is Nona Gaprindashvili, but she is the female world champion and she has never faced men.

Uh, not so much.

“Gaprindashvili is a pioneer of women’s chess and a highly regarded icon in her native Georgia. Throughout her extraordinary career, she has won numerous championships, defeated some of the best male chess players in the world and was the first woman in history to achieve the status of international grandmaster among men. , The libel lawsuit filed in federal court by California. Gaprindashvili’s lawyers point out (read it here).

Based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevi, The Queen’s Gambit caused a stir around the world with its launch on Oct. 23 and entered this weekend’s Emmys as a frontrunner, having won a leader nine trophies at the Creative Emmys last weekend. One of my Top 10 shows from last year, it follows Beth Harmon (Taylor-Joy), a young girl abandoned in a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s who discovers an astonishing talent for chess while battling addiction and the struggles that come with the true gift of genius. .

But the genius of non-fiction feels no gift from the limited series.

“The claim that Gaprindashvili ‘never confronted men’ is patently false, besides being grossly sexist and disparaging,” adds Gaprindashvili’s 25-page complaint. “In 1968, the year this episode takes place, she faced at least 59 male chess players (28 of them simultaneously in a game), including at least ten grandmasters of the time, including Dragolyub Velimirovich , Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres, Bojan Kurajica, Boris Spassky, Viswanathan Anand and Mikhail Tal The last three have also been world champions during their careers.

And then, the coup de grace.

“Netflix brazenly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s accomplishments in the cheap and cynical aim of” heightening the drama “by making it appear that its fictional hero had succeeded in doing what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, had. done, “said Rufus-Isaacs. Acland & Grantham LLP for their acclaimed client. So, in a story that was supposed to inspire women by showing a young woman competing with men at the highest levels of global chess, Netflix humbled the one true trailblazer woman who had actually faced and defeated men on the world stage in the same way. time.”

“This arrogant refusal to take responsibility for his actions was surprisingly muffled, given the sexism and offensive nature of his lie,” the lawsuit continues, explaining that Gaprindashvili contacted directly for the apparent wrong to be repaired.


Netflix’s response… well, it’s not a strong gesture.

“Netflix has nothing but the utmost respect for Ms Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case,” a spokesperson said Thursday.

It might require more than the French Defense, if you know what I mean.

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