Summary: The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of the ten greatest entertainment-related lawsuits of the year.
2016 was a strange year for everyone, and the lawsuits filed were a good indicator of some of our country’s wildest moments. Every year, The Hollywood Reporter compiles a list of the top 10 craziest Hollywood lawsuits; and this year, one name dominated the list. As you’ve probably guessed, it’s our president elect, Donald Trump! He was directly involved with four lawsuits, and he was on the periphery of others. Whether or not you lean left or blue, it’s hard to deny that he was a busy man in entertainment.
10. Donald Trump sues New York Times over a sexual harassment story
In October, Donald Trump was seemingly humiliated when a tape of him and TV host Billy Bush discussed how Trump liked to “grab [women] by the p*ssy.” Days later, The New York Times struck another blow to his reputation when they published interviews from women who claim that he sexually harassed them. Trump sued the paper, stating the article was “reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se,” but The Times refused to issue a retraction. The litigation is still pending.
9. 21st Century Fox sues Roger Ailes over alleged sexual harassment coverup
Gretchen Carlson changed Fox News forever when she filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against CEO Roger Ailes this summer. After she filed, other women came forward with similar allegations, and Ailes stepped down from his job in September. Now, 21st Century Fox which owns Fox News is suing Ailes, stating that he used company money to hide his history of harassment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit’s intent could be to show the public that Rupert Murdoch and his family will not tolerate improper behavior in their media empire.
8. Taylor Swift and Bill Cosby partner up to fight Kanye West
Taylor Swift found an unlikely ally in alleged rapist Bill Cosby. The two filed lawsuits against Kanye West after he released a music video this summer using their likenesses. In his video “Famous,” West used dolls that resembled famous folks like Swift, Cosby, West’s wife Kim Kardashian, and Donald Trump. While the dolls were creepy enough, West had them placed together in a giant bed, naked. The lawsuit is still pending.
7. MGM sues The Apprentice crewmember for leaking Donald Trump tapes
People who worked on NBC’s The Apprentice were not allowed to release unaired footage without the network’s consent. However, that didn’t stop an anonymous crew member from leaking the tape to The Intercept, and that tape showed Trump making racist comments on the set of his hit reality show. MGM, who owns the tapes, sued “John Doe” for this breach of contract, and the company hoped that the reporter would be forced to reveal his source. So far, the crew member has not been identified.
6. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes on Hollywood
Hollywood has been in hot water for its limited high-ranking jobs for women. For over a year, the EEOC has been investigating the industry to determine if there was systemic discrimination keeping women from succeeding in Tinseltown. The investigation was prompted by a petition from the American Civil Liberties Union, and as part of the probe, the EEOC has solicited data about hiring practices from major entertainment companies such as Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney and Universal.
5. The Beatles sue Donald Trump for using their music at rallies
The Beatles don’t want to come together with Donald Trump. After learning he was using their music at his campaign rallies, they filed a lawsuit. They said that Trump’s repeated use of their music made fans falsely think that the Brits endorsed him, which they wanted to let him know for sure, that they didn’t.
4. Members of “The Dream Team” sue over their portrayals in People v. O.J Simpson
Hollywood true stories are often anything but. Producers and filmmakers need to tell a dramatic account, and staying true to life is a bonus but not mandatory. When FX released the legal drama The People v. O.J. Simpson, Robert Shapiro, Alan Dershowitz and Robert Kardashian‘s daughters (You may know them, Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney) filed civil lawsuits, disliking their portrayals. Al Cowlings, famous for driving O.J.’s white bronco during that mesmerizing police chase, said that he would’ve been shocked if a series about trial lawyers didn’t end in litigation.
3. Alex Jones sues Facebook over “Fake News” label
Alex Jones of InfoWars was outraged when Facebook decided to label his company’s content as fake news while not labelling bigwigs like ABC News or The New York Times. He filed a lawsuit against the tech company, claiming that they were violating net neutrality and defaming InfoWars. While the lawsuit is still pending, it’s predicted that Facebook will cite their own First Amendment rights trumps those of Infowars. No word on what will happen with sites that circulate fake news, a phenomenon that some credit for the rise of you guess it, Donald Trump.
2. Gawker sues billionaire Peter Thiel
Mischievous gossip site Gawker had no idea when it outed billionaire Peter Thiel that he would hold out for years to enact his revenge, but it happened. The scheming billionaire funded Hulk Hogan‘s multi-million lawsuit against the website, and after Hogan won, the media company was forced to declare bankruptcy. Not wanting to go down without a fight, Gawker sued Thiel, stating that he acted to inflict harm because of malice. Hogan’s lawyers said that Thiel helped level the playing field against a well-funded media site, but Gawker argues that it is dangerous that billionaires can financially ruin companies because of petty grudges.
1. Donald Trump sues New York Times for publishing his tax info
Despite calls for Donald Trump to release his taxes, the Republican candidate and now president elect refused to do so. However, thanks to an anonymous tipster, The New York Times was able to publish his 1995 returns, which showed he was a shockingly bad businessman with $916 million in losses. While there are broad laws in place that prohibit the publishing of tax returns without the person’s consent, editor Dean Baquet said he would risk going to jail to publish the information.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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What do you think is the most incredible Hollywood lawsuit of the year? Let us know in the comments below.