A Little Lie

The makers of Yesterday, a quirky little (no big name actors, probably not much of a budget) are being sued by a couple of viewers because they included an actress in the trailers who did not actually appear in the film (I found out in the comments that she actually was in the Netflix version, which I saw, but I still didn’t know who she was)
My initial reaction was “This is a silly lawsuit. They shouldn’t get so wound up. It’s only a movie.” but the more I thought about it, the more I began to appreciate the plaintiffs’ point.
If they had said “This is the greatest film ever!” and, after watching, people had realized that no, it’s not, it’s not even in the top hundred, maybe even the top thousand, there still wouldn’t have been a case because ‘best’ is subjective, and a wee bit of hyperbole is protected under free speech and pretty much taken for granted in advertising. (btw, I liked the film, and would recommend it to anybody) On the other hand, if they had said “Starring Matt Damon and Patrick Stewart” or if they had said “sexy lesbian scenes with Gal Godot and Jennifer Lawrence,” of course they would have been sued, and rightly so.
You could say it’s the size of the lie that is the difference, but then you wind up in a never ending legal quagmire and the courts shouldn’t be wasting time deciding who is a great actor and what the public wants to see. The point has to be the lie.
A demonstrably provable non-fact. This should not be allowed, or accepted. Not in movies. Not in consumer goods. Not in politics.

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