Court upholds dismissal of veteran's suit over 'Hurt Locker'

LOS ANGELES -- A U.S. federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that an Iraq War veteran cannot sue the makers of the "The Hurt Locker" because he believes the Oscar-winning film portrayed him in a bad light.

See Full Article

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a lower court's dismissal of Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver's 2009 lawsuit against director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal was proper. Sarver, a bomb-disposal technician who was shadowed by Boal in Iraq, contended the film defamed him by portraying him as obsessed with death.

The court disagreed, saying the film was protected by the First Amendment and its fictional protagonist, even if he is based on Sarver, was shown to be a heroic figure.

The ruling states the justices agreed that reasonable viewers of the movie "would be left with the conclusion that the character Will James was a heroic figure, albeit one struggling with certain internal conflicts."

The ruling further stated, " 'The Hurt Locker' is speech that is fully protected by the First Amendment, which safeguards the storytellers and artists who take the raw materials of life -- including the stories of real individuals, ordinary or extraordinary -- and transform them into art, be it articles, books, movies, or plays."

"This is a highly important precedent that will have major implications for the entire film industry," said attorney Jeremiah Reynolds, who represented Bigelow and Boal.

"The Hurt Locker" won six Oscars, including one for Boal's screenplay and another for Bigelow's directing. It also won for best picture.

Sarver's attorney, Michael Dezsi, says the ruling is disappointing, and he's considering how to proceed, including an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Sgt. Sarver courageously defended his country and the liberties of this nation in the most dangerous of circumstances, and has now been repaid by the failure of the judicial system to protect his rights," Dezsi wrote in an email.

Sarver sued over the film days before it won big at the 2010 Oscars. A Los Angeles federal judge dismissed his case the following year.

Boal was embedded with Sarver's unit in 2004 and wrote about Sarver and other bomb disposal experts in an article for Playboy magazine titled "The Man in the Bomb Suit."

Sarver said Boal wanted to stay with him exclusively because he didn't trust other bomb techs.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Trump on the mind at the Oscars in jokes, protest

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- President Donald Trump was on people's minds -- if not on everyone's lips -- at the Oscars on Sunday night.Watch the Oscars live on CTV.ca He was the subject of a protest non-appearance by an Academy Award-winning director, an oblique introduction by last year's supporting actor winner and several of host Jimmy Kimmel's jokes. Source
  • Iran's Farhadi, absent at Oscars, pleads for empathy in win

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A political context larger than that of films themselves swept Iran's "The Salesman" into the limelight and effectively solidified its win in the best foreign language category at the Oscars on Sunday. Source
  • Oscars 2017: Justin Timberlake kicks things off with bizarre song and dance number [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    First posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 07:04 PM EST | Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 07:24 PM EST Source
  • Oscars roll out the red carpet in Hollywood

    Entertainment CBC News
    Fans of film, frocks and famous faces have turned their eyes to Hollywood tonight for the 89th annual Academy Awards. The Oscars are taking place at the Hollywood and Highland Center's Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Source
  • Gosling, Villeneuve lead Canadian Oscar hopefuls

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO - There's a healthy dose of Canuck amongst this year's Oscar nominees..Watch the Oscars live on CTV.ca There's Ryan Gosling of London, Ontario, who's nominated for best actor for playing a jazz pianist in the musical "La La Land. Source
  • Why are celebs wearing blue ribbons on the Oscar red carpet?

    Entertainment CTV News
    The hottest accessory on the Oscar red carpet is a symbol for one of the hottest issues in the United States right now: immigration.Watch the Oscars live on CTV.ca Many celebrities walked the red carpet sporting blue ribbons on their snazzy outfits, as a sign of support for the American Civil Liberties Union. Source
  • Oscars red carpet photos [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    First posted: Sunday, February 26, 2017 07:04 PM EST | Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 07:24 PM EST Source
  • LIVE Oscars updates: Highlights of Hollywood's biggest night

    Entertainment CTV News
    PHOTOS: Oscars Red Carpet Fashion WATCH: Oscar behind-the-scenes prep Five Canadian facts to help prime you for the 2017 Oscars Source
  • LIVE Oscars updates: Mahershala Ali wins Best Supporting Actor award

    Entertainment CTV News
    Welcome to our Oscars live blog! The 89th Academy Awards are expected to showcase their usual glitz and glamour, along with more politically charged speeches in the age of Donald Trump’s presidency. Will escapist movie La La Land sweep this year’s awards? Will Canadian Ryan Gosling win the coveted Best Actor trophy? Stay tuned. Source
  • LIVE Oscars updates: Viola Davis wins best supporting actress award

    Entertainment CTV News
    Welcome to our Oscars live blog! The 89th Academy Awards are expected to showcase their usual glitz and glamour, along with more politically charged speeches in the age of Donald Trump’s presidency. Will escapist movie La La Land sweep this year’s awards? Will Canadian Ryan Gosling win the coveted Best Actor trophy? Stay tuned. Source