Ava DuVernay and Netflix Win Defamation Lawsuit Over ‘When They See Us’

A federal judge sided with director Ava DuVernay and Netflix and dismissed a defamation suit over the docuseries When They See Us which focuses on the wrongful convictions of 5 black and brown boys who were convicted and served time for a rape they never committed.

According to Deadline, U.S. District Court Judge Manish Shah dismissed Reid’s complaint “Because the First Amendment protects non-factual assertions and because neither defendants Ava DuVernay nor Array Alliance Inc. has sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Illinois to justify haling them into court here.”

“If the technique is as widely used as Reid says it is, the effect of the criticism has been felt well beyond Illinois’s borders,”  Shah added. 

Deadline also reported that in the corresponding document, the court declared that the judgment in the Midwest-based civil case is “in favor of defendants Netflix, Inc., Ava DuVernay, and Array Alliance, Inc., and against plaintiff John E. Reid and Associates, Inc.”

The lawsuit was filed by John E. Reid & Associates in October 2019 because of their trademark interrogation technique.

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