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Netflix Sued For $5Million Over ‘Sexist’ Line In ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Netflix is being sued for $5million by a leading female chess champion over a 'sexist' line in The Queen's Gambit.
Credit: Pexels & Netflix

Netflix is being sued for $5million by a leading female chess champion over a ‘sexist’ line in The Queen’s Gambit.

According to Deadline, Nona Gaprindashvili, a Soviet and Georgian chess player, initiated the case over a ‘manifestly false’ and ‘grossly sexist’ line in the programme that specifically mentions her.

The show tells the story of Beth Harmon, an orphaned chess prodigy who breaks gender barriers in the world of chess in the mid-20th century.

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In the finale, a narrator says: “The only unusual thing about Harmon, 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.”

Gaprindashvili, who was the first woman to be awarded the chess grandmaster in 1978, claims she had faced many male opponents by the time the scene was set.

In documents about the case obtained by Deadline, her legal team said: “Gaprindashvili is a pioneer of women’s chess and a much-loved icon in her native country of Georgia.

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Netflix sued
The streaming giant is being sued over ‘sexist’ lines in The Queen’s Gambit. Credit: Netflix

“Throughout her extraordinary career, she won many championships, beat some of the best male chess players in the world, and was the first woman in history to achieve the status of international chess grandmaster among men.

“The allegation that Gaprindashvili ‘has never faced men’ is manifestly false, as well as being grossly sexist and belittling.

“By 1968, the year in which this episode is set, she had competed against at least 59 male chess players (28 of them simultaneously in one game), including at least ten grandmasters of that time.”

The case also accuses the streaming giant of blatantly ignoring these facts, alleging that they would have been aware of them as historians and class experts of that era were hired as part of the production process.

80-year-old Gaprindashvili is demanding the removal of the line from the series, as well as damages.

In a statement released responding to the lawsuit, Netflix said they have ‘only the utmost respect for Ms Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career,’ but believe this claim has ‘no merit’ and will be vigorously defended.

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