2020 saw a rise in the interest of the sport of chess (as well as Anya Taylor-Joy) with the success of Queen’s Gambit, but Netflix is now having some legal trouble over one line from their hit miniseries.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming giant is currently being sued $5 million in damages by soviet chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili, who claims that one line from the show had defamed and belittled her career.
The line in question is one spoken by a commentator on the show. It reads:
“The only unusual thing about her, really, is her sex. And even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.”
As per Gaprindashvili, she had competed against 59 male players by 1968, and 10 of them were grandmasters. The complaint suggests that Netflix had ‘brazenly and deliberately lied’ about her achievements for the purpose of ‘heightening the drama’ for the series. The show was also said to have falsely implied that she was Russian; Graprindashvili is Georgian, and considers it insensitive when putting to light the history of Russian domination on the Georgians.
We don’t know if Gaprindashvili will be able to get the amount in damages that she’s asking for, but Netflix has said that they will not be backing down from the claim. A spokesperson says:
“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.”
In the meantime, you can check out Queen’s Gambit now available on Netflix.