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Man sues Netflix for P56 million for using his photo in murder documentary

By Brooke Villanueva Published Apr 19, 2023 6:23 pm

A man is suing Netflix for over $1 million (P56 million) for using his photo in a true crime documentary involving a killer. 

According to a report by Entertainment Weekly, Taylor Hazlewood accused the popular streaming platform of defamation and misappropriation of likeness or right of publicity after the latter used his Instagram photo in a murder docu dubbed The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker.  

The Netflix offering, reported EW, “centers on a nomad (Caleb McGillvary) who became an internet celebrity after he intervened during a woman’s assault, but was later convicted of murder.” 

The man can be seen holding a hatchet in the snap taken on June 2019. It appeared on the show even though he “is not connected, in any way, to Mr. McGillvary or his story,” the complaint read, calling the act “inappropriate, misleading, and defamatory.” 

In a statement, his lawyer Angela Buchanan explained to the media outlet that Hazlewood only decided to pose with the hatchet for the photo because it reminded him of his favorite childhood book dubbed Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

She added that the original IG post even tagged the aforementioned book and author, “so there should have been no confusion by any company doing its homework when sourcing content.”

Due to this, his attorney said, “many acquaintances, contacts, or potential employers will never give Mr. Hazlewood courtesy.” 

“Instead, they will form opinions about it based on how he is portrayed in the film—as an untrustworthy person connected to the killer."

"Netflix, and the production companies upon which they rely, must be held accountable when they are negligent and cause this sort of reputational harm," continued Buchanan. 

The streaming service is yet to provide a statement on the matter.