Matthew Stohl


According to Giardello, boxing historians, and even Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, himself, the opening sequence of The Hurricane — which purports to tell the “true story” of Carter’s unjust imprisonment — was not only far from being accurate, it was a complete falsity. In reality, the fight was a lopsided Giardello victory, to the delight of the 6,000 fans in attendance.

Joey Giardello, who knew nothing of the movie until the day he saw it in the theater, filed suit on February 16, 2000 against Universal Pictures claiming that the film inaccurately portrayed him as a weak fighter and the beneficiary of a racially motivated decision. Giardello sued for unspecified monetary damages and wanted future copies of the movie to include a trailer showing archival footage of the fight.

This case exemplifies the disturbing and growing trend of false light invasion of privacy in present day motion pictures. Due to courts’ narrow application of the doctrine of false light invasion of privacy, as it applies to motion pictures, false light has become a near impossible claim to prevail upon.