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Netflix And The Real First Female Chess Grandmaster Have Reached A Settlement In The Defamation Lawsuit Against ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Shortly after The Queen’s Gambit became a breakout success during the pandemic, the Anya Taylor-Joy series was slapped with a defamation lawsuit by Georgian chess player Nona Gaprindashvili, the first woman to be named a grandmaster. The lawsuit came down to one line in the series that attacked Gaprindashvili’s character. One of the announcers during a fictional match mentioned her by name, but said that she had never faced male competitors. This was not true. Gaprindashvili had faced 59 men by 1968 when The Queen’s Gambit took place.

In her defamation lawsuit, Gaprindashvili argued that the reference was “grossly sexist and belittling,” and a judge moved the litigation forward in January despite Netflix claiming it was protected by the First Amendment. The judge argued that fictional works can be sued if they defame actual people.

However, the two parties have reportedly reached an agreement, according to Variety. Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but representatives for both sides said they are “pleased the matter has been resolved.”

The mention of Gaprindashvili in the series was supposed to recognize her accomplishments, not disparage her, but clearly that backfired as the show was mainly concerned with elevating a chess player who didn’t even exist.

“They were trying to do this fictional character who was blazing the trail for other women, when in reality I had already blazed the trail and inspired generations,” Gaprindashvili said in an interview reported by The New York Times. “That’s the irony.”

(Via Variety)