I was recently shown in a reality tv show, with more than one speaking line, getting into an argument with a cast member. At no point did I ever sign a release form, although several of my friends/group had earlier. Many faces were blurred, but mine was not, and I was front and center for a small portion of the show. I would never have consented to this, as it's a regrettable incident that portrays me in an unfavorable light (manipulative editing at its finest). I was just a background bystander and then they flipped on the cameras and started filming when the argument started. I feel it's unfair and defamatory and want the episode removed immediately. One problem: it happened on a resort in Mexico. However, the company and show are both American, as am I. What recourse do I have, if any?One more question: If there is a sign posted somewhere (theoretically) that stated the area was filming for a show, does that somehow absolve them of all responsibility? My feeling is that if that were the case, the written releases would be totally superfluous and there would be no need to blur ANY of the faces that they did blur on the show.
I represented a person who was likewise portrayed on a national television "reality TV" show without having signed consent for the use to which the clip was used. We presented the claim to the producers and they issued an apology and a financial settlement. Retain an attorney and make a claim to the company that produces the show.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided in an office consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, with experience in the area of law in which your concern lies.
The location may post an issue. However, if the show was broadcast in the United States and the companies involved (or any of them is in the United States), you can still have a claim. Using you likeness for commercial purposes without your consent poses issues for the show. Many states have privacy laws that protect you in this regard. Also, the laws of Mexico may protect you and could be applied in a U.S. court through conflict of laws principles.
As the prior post stated, sometimes all it takes is a simple letter to the producers of the show.
[This communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline