Former Model Settles Lawsuit Over ‘Mad Men’ Title Sequence

Aug 9, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A lawsuit over the title sequence to AMC’s hit drama series "Mad Men" has been settled. The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq. reports that model Gita Hall May settled her suit against Lionsgate Entertainment over briefly showing her during the show’s opening credits.

"The lawsuit was filed in March by the 79-year-old ex-model who alleged her image from a Richard Avedon photograph shot more than half a century ago was used without her permission," THR reports. "The photo was for an early-’60s Revlon ad, and May said that she had never consented ‘to allow, forty years later, her image to be cropped from the photo, in secret, and inserted as a key element in the title sequence of a cable television series.’”

Lionsgate had argued that its use of the image was protected by the First Amendment.

"On Monday, a Los Angeles Court was scheduled to hold a hearing on the defendant’s anti-SLAPP motion, but in advance, the parties have figured out a way to resolve the situation," the story reports. "Court papers indicate an unconditional settlement but don’t spell out the terms."

The THR piece notes: "The opening of ‘Mad Men’ contains more than 40 period advertisements, according to a declaration by ‘Mad Men’ executive producer Scott Hornbacher, including those from Herman Miller, IBM, American Airlines, Carling Black Label Beer, Van Heausen, Pan Am, TWA, Heinz, Lady Remington, Zippo and Smirnoff Vodka."

Lionsgate reportedly argued in a previous motion to strike down the lawsuit: "Visible for barely more than one second, the image from the advertisement … has been altered and combined with dozens of other creatively altered images also taken from period advertisements and with new creative elements to form a highly distinctive opening sequence that is as much creative expression as the content of the Series itself."

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