Before Mad Men returns for its sixth season on April 7, it has one small legal matter it might want to attend to.
Despite the show being about advertising execs, it appears that Don Draper didn’t supervise the creation of the hit show’s opening sequence. Model Gita Hall May is suing Lions Gate Entertainment, claiming that the show’s title sequence uses her image without her permission.
Filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, the suit says that the opening sequence has played a part in the show earning “in excess of $1 billion,” and that Hall May has not been paid. The complaint is about misappropriation of right of publicity for commercial purposes and says the producers “have intentionally misled the public into believing that Plaintiff endorses Defendants and their products.”
The suit reads: “Because Defendants exploited the Photograph and Plaintiff’s likeness and image while knowing that Defendants had no right to do so, and knowing that such conduct was a violation of Plaintiff’s legal rights and the law, Defendants have acted with fraud, malice and oppression.”
Hall May wants statutory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, attorney’s fees and costs, restitution and the cost of the suit.
Lions Gate had no comment.