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Netflix is being Sued by a Chess Grandmaster for Slander

Netflix is being Sued by a Chess Grandmaster for Slander

The first woman in history to be given the title of Grandmaster, filed a defamation complaint against Netflix for misrepresenting in the immensely popular series "The Queen's Gambit." Nona Gaprindashvili has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Central District of California (Western Division) demanding $5 million in damages, claiming that Netflix's incorrect representation was "grossly discriminatory and demeaning" and damaged the real-life women's chess pioneer's achievements.

The announcer talks to the tens of millions of people watching on Netflix around the world as the fictitious Beth Harmon sits down to play in the last episode of the series, which shows the protagonist attempting to negotiate the male-dominated and frequently political world of chess during the Cold War. Her gender is the only thing that stands out about her. Nona Gaprindashvili is another option, but she is the female world champion and has never faced a man.

Throughout her career, Gaprindashvili has battled (and defeated) males. The five-time women's world champion gained her Grandmaster title by competing against men in an international event in 1972, one of several she won over the course of her lengthy career. Much of the misogyny shown in the series, such as Harmon being told to play somewhere else when trying to compete in competitions, was based on Gaprindashvili's own experiences trying to make it as a woman in a historically male-dominated sport.

The concerned passage was modified from a book, which omitted any mention to her not playing men in favor of referring to Gaprindashvili as having met the genuine grandmasters in the narrative "many times previously." Gaprindashvili claims she was humiliated and that her whole life has been crossed out as if it were nothing.

Netflix replied by saying that while it has nothing but admiration for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her remarkable career, it believes the allegation is without substance and would fiercely fight the lawsuit. The suit has gotten a lot of attention from the chess community, which has profited a lot from the successful show.

Chess has become one of the most popular genres on the videogame live streaming site "Twitch," and many people have praised The Queen's Gambit for bringing the game to the attention of the public and inspiring young females to participate.


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