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Reality Movie Participants Gain Release From Their Release

Let's say you sign a general consent form to participate in a "documentary-style film" designed to reach a young adult audience by using entertaining content and formats." Turns out, however, that your participation entails playing straight guy to comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who's posing as a journalist from Kazakhstan, who has a knack for making even the mundane look foolish on camera and who plans to use your tape in a major movie.

Most people would wonder whether they could sue Cohen, for fraud or invasion or privacy or ... something. But as Daniel Engber discusses in this article, Borat Tricked Me! Can't I sue him or something? in Slate (10/24/06), the movie participants face an uphill fight, having signed a fairly extensive release that appears to cover all bases. Though it's difficult to feel sympathy for consenting adults who bound themselves by contract, when you read this piece about the circumstances surrounding the signing and take into account that the movie will probably generate a good deal of money, it's not hard to conclude that the movie producers took advantage.   

What do you think?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on October 26, 2006 at 02:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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