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Ok so I am a wannabe headline writer. Anyway...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/19/south_park_axed/

UK TV viewers will not get to see an episode of South Park which shows Nicole Kidman and fellow Scientologist John Travolta attempting to coax a fictional Tom Cruise character out of a closet, with Kidman saying: "Don't you think this has gone on long enough? It's time for you to come out of the closet. You're not fooling anyone."

Naturally, the robustly heterosexual Top Gun star took exception to this when Trapped in the Closet aired in the US. The episode also showed Stan - believed by the Cruise character to be the reincarnation of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard - having a pop at Cruise's acting abilities, and Cruise reportedly waved the legal big stick at Paramount and threatened to sue if the offending programme was ever shown again.

An insider said: "Tom is famously very litigious and will go to great lengths to protect his reputation. Tom was said not to like the episode and Paramount just didn't dare risk showing it again. It's a shame that UK audiences will never see it because it's very funny."
 

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Screw Tom Cruise. He doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in this case.

A) Parody and satire are clearly protected (Hustler v. Fallwell)

2) They never say Tom is gay anway, they literally tell him to come out of an actual closet.
 

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busyba said:
A) Parody and satire are clearly protected (Hustler v. Fallwell)
Which is probably why we haven't heard anything about Cruise and/or the Church of Scientology threatening Comedy Central over this episode.

The article is referring to the U.K., though, where the laws and court decisions are different (but I don't know how different -- there's quite a history of British parody and satire!).
 

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I think the episode in question was hilarious. The way South Park exposed what Scientology is about....brilliant. I love how they put at the bottom "This is what Scientologists actually believe" when they were showing all the aliens, motherships, and absolutely rediculous beliefs of Scientology.

I'd like to see Cruise sue them. Add more fuel to the fire for me. I can't wait until his marriage to Katie (now Kate) Holmes fails and he's run out of Hollywood for being a weirdo. I don't see how he's becoming more popular with the way he acts nowadays.

<downgrade>
 

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busyba said:
That was my first impluse, but when I googled, pretty much every reference I saw said "Hustler v. Falwell"

I don't know why.
Responding to myself....

My best guess is that:

A) The original suit slander in a state court was "Falwell v Hustler". In that case Hustler was found not liable for slander, but liable for intentional infliction of emotional distress and Falwell was awarded damages.

then

B) The federal case that went to the supreme court was "Hustler v. Fallwell" because Hustler was the plaintiff alledging that finding a satirist liable for infliction of emotional distress was a 1st amendment violation.
 

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SparkleMotion said:
Perhaps it was a countersuit...I don't think appeals (which is the only route to the SCOTUS) change the contenders in a lawsuit.
I'm thinking now that appeals do change it.

The SCOTUS ruling that struck down sodomy laws is called "Lawrence v. Texas", and in that case Lawrence was the defendant on the sodomy charge and Texas was the complainant.

I'm thinking that maybe cases in general are "complainant v. defendant" and SCOTUS cases are then "petitioner v. respondant", regardless of what the case being appealed was.
 

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busyba said:
Screw Tom Cruise. He doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in this case.

A) Parody and satire are clearly protected (Hustler v. Fallwell)

2) They never say Tom is gay anway, they literally tell him to come out of an actual closet.
He doesn't need to sue, and he doesn't need to have a legal leg to stand on. What he needs is to be the executive producer and star of Paramount's most expensive and most important 2006 release, Mission: Impossible III, which he is, and then he needs to tell Paramount he is unhappy, which he did. He knows full well they will do whatever he wants without getting lawyers involved; threatening suit was just saber rattling.
 
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