A former model is suing Lionsgate Entertainment for using her image in the title sequence of the AMC hit series Mad Men.
Gita Hall May — better known as simply Gita Hall — worked as a fashion model and actress in the 1950s and ’60s, and was surprised to see a photo that had originally been taken for a Revlon ad featured prominently on the side of a building in the show’s opening sequence.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hall — who is now 79 years old — said she only gave permission for the photo to be used in that ad and did not agree “to allow, forty years later, her image to be cropped from the photo, in secret, and inserted as a key element in the title sequence of a cable television series, without her consent and for commercial purposes.”
Hall’s lawsuit says that her photo is the centerpiece of the opening credits, and she is now demanding that she be compensated for “the value her image contributed to their property or the revenues that her image contributed to their profit.”
The Mad Men title sequence won an Emmy for outstanding main title design in 2008.
Hall’s lawsuit estimates that Mad Men has earner over $1 billion since it premiered, and says that Hall’s image is valuable because it “perfectly personifies the period.”
However, according to Deadline, the show’s opening sequence is not produced by Lionsgate, but by Imaginary Forces. Deadline also notes that Hall’s lawsuit alleges that the former model’s likeness “appears more promintently and directly than any other image in that sequence, and in the Pilot directly opposite the credit for the program’s Producer.”
While Mad Men has been on air since 2007, Hall’s lawsuit says that she only found about the use of her image last year when the series became available on DVD.
Gita Hall May is suing for unspecified damages “suffered as a result of the unauthorized use” of her likeness.
You can watch the Mad Men opening sequence below. Hall’s photo pops up at about 23 seconds into the video.