Jugde Dismisses Out Of Furnace Lawsuit

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A federal judge in New Jersey has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against the producers od Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson’s new movie over the movie’s portrayal of Native Americans.

Some members of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation consider the movie to have some unsavory characters bearing last names of some of their community memebers. It includes a villain, crime ringleader Harlan DeGroat, portrayed by Harrelson.

A total of 17 plaintiffs, eight of whom bear the name DeGroat, demand compensation, because the movie describes the gang as the community of “inbreds”. The lawsuit was filed in December 2013.

In April, bosses at Leonardo DiCaprio’s production firm Appian Way Productions and Relativity Media asked for dismissal. They cited the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment freedom of speech right.

On Wednesday, May 14, U.S. District judge William Walls granted the request.

His ruling said, “Plaintiffs plead only that some of them share the same surname, but not first name, as two of the characters in the movie.

They also contend that they are Ramapoughs, as are the characters in the movie, and that many of them live in the same region as the Ramapoughs. These allegations do not suffice to show that the alleged defamatory statements are ‘of and concerning’ these Plaintiffs.”

As a reaction to the news, a Relativity Media spokesperson says, “We are pleased with the New Jersey Federal Court’s decision today to dismiss the complaint…

As we have said all along, the picture is not based upon any particular person or group of people, and the Court agreed with us on this point. We are satisfied that the court has upheld the right of free speech in the context of this purely fictional film.”

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