Critics may be raving about HBO’s Winning Time right now, but you know who doesn’t love the show—the people that it’s about. One particular person depicted in the series, Jerry West, wants to sue the network for damages to his reputation.
According to THR, West has threatened to sue HBO for the unflattering portrayal of him via actor Jason Clarke. West’s attorney is saying that the show is making him out to be an “out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic.”
HBO, on the other hand, has decided to take a stand for the series. In a statement, the network said:
“HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes. Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen.”
If anything, this isn’t HBO’s first rodeo, and they’ve had experience with previous shows based on real events like Chernobyl, Paterno, and Game Change. Even producer Adam McKay has gone through the same problems with Vice. He says, “We know the drill at this point… You get the fact-checkers, you check with the lawyers, and there are very clear parameters: You’re never going to create character-defining moments; it’s always going to be within the realm of the true story.”
We don’t know if West is going to push through with this lawsuit, but so far, his reaction has fans thinking that they got his character spot on. Now, isn’t that ironic?
Catch Winning Time now on HBO Max.