Anya Taylor-Joy starrer Netflix phenomena The Queen’s Gambit has landed in trouble, as Soviet chess player Nona Gaprindashvili has taken legal action against the streaming platform for $5 million over a se*ist dialogue in the mini-series.
In the recent award ceremonies, the series took home 2 Golden Globes and will be competing this year at the Emmy Awards.
The $5 million defamation case was filed in California by Nona Gaprindashvili, a chess master from Georgia, who claims that one of the Queen’s Gambit’s characters referred to her real-life success incorrectly. The scene comes during the End Game episode, and a commentator says, “The only unusual thing about her, really, is her se*, and even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.”
According to the Deadline, Gaprindashvili’s lawsuit states that the imaginary comment about an actual person is absolutely false, and the suit filed in federal court by California lawyers adds, “Gaprindashvili is a pioneer of women’s chess and a much-loved icon in her native country of Georgia. Throughout her extraordinary career, she won many championships, beat some of the best male chess players in the world, and was the first woman in history to achieve the status of international chess grandmaster among men.”
Nona Gaprindashvili’s complaint further claims, “Netflix brazenly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s achievements for the cheap and cynical purpose of ‘heightening the drama’ by making it appear that its fictional hero had managed to do what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, had done. Thus, in a story that was supposed to inspire women by showing a young woman competing with men at the highest levels of world chess, Netflix humiliated the one real woman trailblazer who had actually faced and defeated men on the world stage in the same era.”
The complaint also states that Gaprindashvili had competed against at least 59 male chess players, including Dragolyub Velimirovich, Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres, Bojan Kurajica, Boris Spassky, Viswanathan Anand and Mikhail Tal.
In a statement to NBC News, a Netflix spokesperson said, “Netflix has only the utmost respect for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case.”
We hope makers of The Queen’s Gambit and the streaming platform take this matter into serious consideration.