02/01/2005: Rule 1: clear the rights or get permission first....
Our Pals at The Smoking Gun report that NY Yankees Hall of Famer (and native St. Louisan) Yogi Berra is suing Turner Broadcasting for misappropriation of his name. As you may be aware, Turner's "TBS Superstation" is rerunning the sex drenched HBO hit, Sex and the City. As a promotion for for the show, TBS had produced bus signs and subway kiosks featuring a multiple choice quiz question:
Yogasm:(the correct answer, as I'm sure you're dying to know, was "c) What Samantha has with a guy from yoga class").
a) A type of yo-yo trick.
b) Sex with Yogi Berra.
c) What Samantha has with a guy from yoga class.
Anyway, Yogi alleges some of the standard complaints concerning use of his name and likeness for commercial purposes without his consent, but then also claims damages to his reputation based on his involuntary association with the show, its association with casual sex, its promiscuous supporting character (Samantha, who IIRC is the slut of Sex and the City; I can't say for sure since I never watched the show myself), and the very wording of the promotional signs:
Plaintiff is a married man and has children and grandchildren. He is a deeply religious man who has maintained and continues to maintain a moral lifestyle, and has a spotless reputation for integrity, decency and moral character with a vast public through the City and State of New York, the United States and overeseas. The direct reference to the sexual act made in connection with Mr. Berra contained in the Advertisment created, published and disseminated by the defendant engenders a moral taint that has damaged his otherwise spotless reputation, is hurtful to his personal sensibilities, and has created a false image of plaintiff that is both contrary to his personality, lifestyle and character as well as abhorrent to him personally and to his family members, friends and colleagues.Probably should have picked another ballplayer to associate with Samantha, one whose reputation might be less sullied by an association with a casual sexual lifestyle. Um.... Wade Boggs, maybe? (Anyone even remember Margo Adams anymore? That mere 15 minutes of fame can be a bitch, can't it?)
Len on 02.01.05 @ 08:18 AM CST