From Love Is Blind to Squid Game: All the times show participants tried to sue Netflix
One person demanded £4.1million and a public apology
Over the years, people who have been featured in Netflix shows have clapped back and tried to sue the streamer on multiple occasions. It’s not just other people who sue Netflix for using their work or company disputes, those who actively signed up for shows and had their faces in some of the biggest series have come back with a battle.
Some have claimed they were treated badly whilst filming, and others have taken an instant dislike to the “edit” they were given by Netflix, and how they’ve come across.
Here’s a rundown of all the times participants from Netflix shows have attempted to sue.
Two players from Squid Game: The Challenge have said they want to sue the production company behind the Netflix show
Two of the cast members from Squid Game: The Challenge are planning to sue Netflix, for “inhumane filming conditions” during Red Light, Green Light. Players have claimed they sustained “serious injuries” such as “hypothermia and nerve damage.”
One contestant described the conditions as “absolutely inhumane and nothing to do with the game.” Details of the lawsuit added: “There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.”
A spokesperson for Squid Game: The Challenge said: “We care deeply about the health of our cast and crew, and the quality of this show. Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue.
“We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after care for contestants – and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”
Love Is Blind had a lawsuit filed against it this year
Right now, the production company behind Love Is Blind is being sued by a season five cast member. The couple in question got completely edited out the final Love Is Blind season five show, following the claims made in the lawsuit.
Tran Dang is suing the Netflix show’s production team, Kinetic Content and Delirium TV, for sexual assault, false imprisonment and negligence. She was on the show this season, and got engaged to a man called Thomas Smith.
In the lawsuit, filed in August last year, Tran has claimed she was assaulted by Thomas during the retreat section of Love Is Blind, when they travelled to Mexico following their engagement in the pods. Through an attorney, Smith has denied the allegations, and has said he will not comment further.
In terms of what has been alleged against Love Is Blind, the lawsuit says due to the nature of the show filming contestants all the time, the act must have been caught on camera. It states: “Due to Delirium TV and Kinetic Content’s 24-hour surveillance of Plaintiff and Defendant Smith, most if not all of these traumatic acts were filmed by the production crew and within their knowledge.”
Dang claims she told production of the alleged assault “the next morning” and “reported that she felt uncomfortable being around Smith.”
Dang also claims she was not allowed to leave her hotel room without permission, and “limited amounts of food” were provided to cast members against “several alcoholic beverages.” The lawsuit reads: “This combination was designed to encourage the participants to engage in striking conversations and actions that would increase viewer ratings.”
In a joint statement provided to Variety, the companies said: “We support and stand with victims of sexual assault, but Ms Dang’s claims against the producers are meritless.”
Chris Coelen, the creator of Love Is Blind, has said the production team was never informed Dang felt unsafe during the process, and said cast members are not filmed 24-hours a day. He said: “Unfortunately, in this case, that kind of sentiment was never addressed to us in any way, nor was any alleged wrongdoing brought to our attention ever.”
Previously, Jeremy Hartwell also filed a lawsuit against Love Is Blind
In 2022 Jeremy Hartwell, who was only on the show for a week, sued Netflix over “inhumane working conditions”. Hartwell alleged the cast were made to wait hours for food and water during their first 24 hours of filming and were encouraged to drink on an empty stomach.
In the lawsuit he said: “The combination of sleep deprivation, isolation, lack of food, and an excess of alcohol all either required, enabled or encouraged by defendants contributed to inhumane working conditions and altered mental state for the cast.
“At times, defendants left members of the cast alone for hours at a time with no access to a phone, food, or any other type of contact with the outside world until they were required to return to working on the production.”
At the time, Kinetic released a statement which said: “Mr Hartwell’s involvement in season two of Love Is Blind lasted less than one week. Unfortunately, for Mr Hartwell, his journey ended early after he failed to develop a significant connection with any other participant. While we will not speculate as to his motives for filing the lawsuit, there is absolutely no merit to Mr Hartwell’s allegations, and we will vigorously defend against his claims.”
Carole Baskin sued Netflix for using footage of her in Tiger King 2
Carole Baskin and her husband Howard both sued Netflix and Tiger King 2 production company Royal Goode Productions for using footage of her in the sequel series. At the time, they demanded all footage of them from Tiger King 2 was removed. The Baskins said they only signed appearance forms for the first documentary and did not agree to being featured at all in Tiger King 2.
The Tinder Swindler’s bodyguard demanded millions from Netflix
Um, remember when we were introduced to the wild case of The Tinder Swindler? And everyone memed his bodyguard Peter when he said “Peter is down” and demanded money? Well, bodyguard Peter was said to have demanded £4.1million from Netflix after the show.
Peter claimed Netflix producers made it look like he was involved in the scams too –and his team claimed it was damaging his reputation, so fired off a cease and desist letter to Netflix. On top of this, Peter also demanded a public apology and a payment of £4.1million.
Peter’s cease and desist is a request sent to Netflix asking to remove him from the documentary and any future content it puts out. In a letter to Netflix obtained by TMZ, Peter’s attorney demanded £4.1million from Netflix and asked the site to remove The Tinder Swindler, as well as issue a public apology.
According to Peter’s lawyer, he had no part in any scam, and he was suing for a breach of “human rights”, which led to him suffering mentally.
A man sued for $1million after his picture was used in a murder documentary
A man sued Netflix for $1million after a picture of him featured in true crime murder documentary, The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker. Taylor Hazelwood claimed he was completely unaware of the programme until a friend reached out to say they had seen his photo in it.
The photograph in question was taken from Hazlewood’s Instagram page and showed him holding a hatchet. Allegedly, this was used by Netflix without his permission, and was shown on-screen with audio stating: “Is this a guardian angel or a stone-cold killer?”
According to The Washington Post, his lawyer Angela Buchanan claimed Hazlewood had “no connection whatsoever to the people or events depicted in the film” and “never sought or did anything to attract attention for the story.” He was seeking more than $1million (£803,990) in damages.
Kelly Mi Ling sued the producer of Bling Empire
In 2022, Kelly Mi Li, star of Netflix series Bling Empire, said she was going to sue the producer of the show. She said she came up with the idea for the reality series, but hasn’t been given the credit she is entitled to.
According to People Magazine, Kelly was suing producer Jeff Jenkins – who is also known for being behind shows such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Simple Life. In documents obtained by the publication, Kelly claims she came up with the concept of the show and told Jenkins about it in 2018.
The lawsuit is said to claim Kelly and Jenkins worked on the show together for months, “leading to the successful sale” of it to Netflix. It claims Jenkins “took and exploited Li’s concept and materials, and entered into agreements creating obligations” that she would be paid and named an executive producer on the show.
Rachel DeLoache Williams said she would sue Netflix over Inventing Anna
Whilst not being an active participant in the show herself, Rachel DeLoache Williams said she wanted to sue Netflix over how she was portrayed in the dramatised show, Inventing Anna.
In the show, Rachel is introduced as working for Vanity Fair and being a friend of Anna’s – and that much about her is true. From then, it’s safe to say she came across as pretty nasty, and looked as though she was enjoying sponging off conwoman Anna whilst she could.
Rachel said in an interview her portrayal in Inventing Anna was “shocking” and said Netflix was “doing a conwoman’s PR”. She said the only thing the show got right about her was how to spell her name.
Rachel discussed the show on Instagram too, sharing an Independent article about Netflix having a “vendetta” against her for working with HBO on another series about the case. The article states Netflix “went out of its way” in an attempt to make us hate Rachel, “making her out to be the worst person in the world”.
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