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Privacy Law

Dwarf Couple Who Posed for AP Photo Sues over Its Altered Use in Reality TV Spoof

Posted Mar 31, 2011 8:07 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A dwarf couple is suing E! Entertainment Television for for using an altered version of their photograph to spoof reality TV shows.

The suit by Cara and Gibson Reynolds of Collingswood, N.J., seeks more than $50,000 in damages for defamation, invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress and unjust enrichment. The Associated Press and Courthouse News Service have stories.

Cara and Gibson Reynolds had posed for the Associated Press photo in connection with an article on genetic testing of embryos for couples with known genetic conditions. The couple’s first child had died soon after childbirth because of a genetic defect. The photo was doctored and used on The Soup to illustrate a fake reality show called "Fertile Little Tattooed Pageant Parents Who Enjoy Baking.”

The show added tattoos to the couple and a crown and beauty pageant sash to Cara Reynolds, the stories say. AP license terms say its photos are for editorial uses only, and they may not be altered, the suit says.

Besides E! Entertainment, the defendants include parent company Comcast and the comedian who hosted the program, Joel McHale. Courthouse News Service posted the complaint (PDF).

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