Paul Brodeur, a real-life science journalist who has written for The New Yorker, is suing the team behind American Hustle for a reference made to him in the film.
The complaint, which Entertainment Weekly has obtained, was filed Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Atlas Entertainment, Annapurna Pictures, and Columbia Pictures.
In the film, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) tells her husband, Irving (Christian Bale), that microwaves take “all of the nutrition out of our food.” When Irving calls the claim bullshit, Rosalyn responds, “It’s not bullshit. I read it in an article. Look, by Paul Brodeur.”
Brodeur’s complaint states, “Paul Brodeur has never written an article or ever declared in any way that a microwave oven ‘takes all the nutrition out of our food.'” Rather, it states, Brodreur has publicly denounced that claim, pointing to a 1978 interview with People Magazine.
“By misquoting Mr. Brodeur in this manner, the Defendants have suggested to the audience that Mr. Brodeur made a scientifically unsupportable statement. By attributing the untenable statement to Mr. Brodeur, Defendants have damaged his reputation,” the complaint states.
As a result, Brodeur is alleging libel, defamation, slander, and false light. He claims to have suffered $1 million in compensatory damages, and is seeking an injunction to remove his name from any copies of the film distributed to the public.