In a story as effective a subtle promotion as staging a fight over a baked ham, Mad Men’s producers at Lionsgate have been hit with a lawsuit by Gita Hall May, a ’50s-era model who says the show has been using her unauthorized image in its opening credits—a fact that May, who doesn’t have cable, says she only became aware of last year, and only decided to sue over in these weeks just before the show’s return. The image in question comes from a campaign photographer Richard Avedon shot for Revlon hairspray, with May’s attorneys arguing that her “likeness appears more prominently and directly than any other image in that sequence.” (It is, after all, why you've long subliminally thought of the show as Mad Lady Face.)
In claiming “the Main Titles were integral to the success of Mad Men,” the suit demands May be compensated with unspecified damages “suffered as a result of the unauthorized use” of her face, such as her being accosted in the streets by strangers yelling, “You're an integral part of one of the most acclaimed shows in the history of television!” presumably. Of course, proving that May actually owns the rights to the image could be tricky, depending on the language of the modeling contract she signed with Revlon—contracts that, given the time period, likely only promised “a new pair of heels and a playful pat on the behind for a job well done,” in perpetuity.
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