a story in Variety about a British woman who is suing Simon Cowell and Britain’s Got Talent for $3.8 million, claiming “exploitation, humiliation, degradation, and barbarism.” I mean, look, there are two possibilities here: Either the plaintiff, Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai, saw the show before becoming a contestant, and therefore knew that humiliation was one of several possible outcomes. Or else she blindly marched onto that stage with no knowledge of reality TV, and received a brutal shock. Which would be kind of like me suing a steep mountain because I decided to rappel down it using yarn and a salad fork, and wound up with a broken leg.My name is Michael Slezak, and while I am not a judge, nor do I play one on TV, I cannot help but invoke the all-important “no one held a gun to your head” rule* ™ while reading
Okay, that simile barely makes sense. Yet from what I can make of Variety‘s report, neither does Czikai’s claim that the show was guilty of disability discrimination because the noise level of the BGT audition space, combined with her preexisting condition of cervical spine neuritis, made it difficult to hear her own singing voice. Still, even if Czikai’s suit meets the same fate as so many discarded Powerball tickets in my recycling bin, it’s kind of fun to think about how I might be able to make a mint through a bogus lawsuit against a celebrity or pop culture enterprise. Should I sue 19 Entertainment for not making “Alright With Me” the second single of Kris Allen’s self-titled debut CD? That’s worth at least a half-million in emotional distress. Or maybe I can take Alex O’Loughlin to court on the grounds that he’s not shirtless nearly enough in the pilot episode of CBS’ upcoming Hawaii 5-0. I’d be willing to settle for an extended beach scene in episode 2, oh yes I would. Cue Mandi Bierly’s expert testimony in 5, 4, 3, 2…
If you were going to sue a star or an entertainment company on superfluous grounds, who would it be, and what damages would you seek? State your case in the comments below.
*A Kristen Baldwin trademark phrase.