Showtime, ‘Billions’ Producers Sued for Defamation By Cayuga Nation


New York’s Cayuga Nation and tribal leader Clint Halftown filed a lawsuit alleging defamation against cable network Showtime and the producers of its hit political drama, Billions.

The suit alleges that the Native American tribe was defamed with depictions of “unscrupulous dealings and even criminal conduct” by characters identified as tribe members in the series, according to Deadline.

The suit also alleges that the series producers, Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, did not obtain permission to use the Cayuga Nation name for the series. Billions recently aired an episode with a tribal leader named Jane Halftown who was a dirty political dealer. “Moreover, Defendants could have easily settled upon fictitious names for the characters in this show but, instead, chose to use Plaintiffs’ actual names,” the lawsuit adds.

“Among the offensive and defamatory characterizations of the Cayuga Nation and Mr. Halftown put forth in this episode of Billions are: an illegal casino land deal, participation in bribery of a public official, and a resort to blackmail, all of which are patently offensive and defamatory,” the 15-page lawsuit contends.

The tribal leader alleges that the series is offensive and harms his and the tribe’s reputation.

Billions also targeted Breitbart News in an episode broadcast in April of last year. In its third season opener, the series went full anti-Trump with a story about a prisoner celebrated by the left despite having murdered a prison guard.

The episode goes on to reveal that the prisoner was mistreated, but the prosecution goes forward anyway because Breitbart News is portrayed as fanning the flames to have the prisoner punished. Consequently, Breitbart News is accused in the episode of supporting the trial of an essentially innocent man.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


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