October 31, 2014
'American Hustle' Gets Slapped With A Lawsuit From A New York Writer

It's been a little under a year since American Hustle came out in theaters and turned another Oscar nominated performance from Jennifer Lawrence. That said, the film is still making news.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, a former writer for The New Yorker is seeking $1 million from the production and distributing companies, Columbia Pictures, Atlas Entertainment and Annapurna Pictures. The writer, Paul Brodeur, was mentioned in a quick scene in the film -- but it's a memorable one.

In the scene, Jennifer Lawrence as Roslyn tells husband Irving, played by Christian Bale, that their "science oven" sucks all of the nutrition out of the food. Bale's character counters that it's not true, and Lawrence's character shouts, "It's not bulls**t. I read it in an article. Look, by Paul Brodeur."

So Brodeur got a huge shout out by one of Hollywood's most sought out actresses. He should be happy, right? Wrong. According to Brodeur, the science journalist insists that he never said that the microwave takes the nutrition out of food. He has, however, written books about the dangers of radiation from a microwave.

Because American Hustle attributed a fake quote on an article Brodeur didn't write, he's seeking compensation and claiming libel. According to the documents filed in Los Angeles, Brodeur states, American Hustle made a "scientifically unsupportable statement," therefore damaging his reputation. The statement continued, "the scene from the movie American Hustle where the defamatory statement was made is highly offensive to a reasonable person."

The former writer jumped on the scene early on, even before the theatrical release. When Huffington Post ran an early clip of American Hustle, which just so happened to be the scene mentioned, he personally contacted the site.

Brodeur's condensed statement reads as follows.

"This is a serious error. I have never written in The New Yorker, where I was a staff writer for nearly forty years, or in any other magazine, or declared in any way that a microwave oven does any such thing. Indeed, I have publicly stated the opposite."
He noted to the site that he sent American Hustle producers a "strongly worded letter" through his lawyer, "pointing out that by attributing a scientifically unsupportable statement to me they have defamed me and damaged my reputation."

Do you think Paul Brodeur has a case against American Hustle?

[Image via Columbia Pictures]