M. Night Shyamalan and AppleTV+ are in hot water at the moment. The filimmaker and the streaming service are being sued for copyright infringement by Francesca Gregorini over his series Servant.
According to Variety, the suit further alleges that Shyamalan not only drew heavily upon the themes and story of her 2013 film The Truth About Emanuel but further filtered her story through the male lens.
Much like The Truth About Emanuel, Servant deals with a woman who bonds with a doll after the death of her own infant child. Where Emanuel focused on telling a woman’s story, however, Servant places the viewer squarely in the perspective of the woman’s husband and focusing on his debate with the woman’s brother as to whether the women are insane.
Gregorini takes this especially seriously as her film was based on her own troubles conceiving a child.
The suit alleges the following as quoted in Variety:
“If ‘Servant’ showcases anything, it is the gender arrogance and inequity still infecting Hollywood (and apparently Cupertino). The result of this caricature of the male gaze is the utter bastardization of Ms. Gregorini’s work. It’s an apt metaphor for the real-life version of what could happen here: It takes only a few old guard Hollywood men, such as Mr. Shyamalan and Mr. Basgallop, and their new Silicon Valley partner Apple TV+, to negate the considerable achievements and life experiences of the women behind ‘Emanuel,’ and to irredeemably tarnish their work.”
Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop have both denied having any prior knowledge of Gregorini’s film and at this time, Apple has not commented.
Servant gained largely mixed reviews upon its release in November of 2019 and has already been renewed for a second season on the streaming platform.
This is not the first time that Shyamalan has been accused of infringement. He was previously taken to court over his film The Village which shared many similarities with a book titled Running out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix which had been published a decade before the film was released.
While that case was dismissed, there many credible arguments within the case that tarnished Shyamalan’s reputation.
It will be interesting to see just how this case plays out, or if it even arrives in court, especially with the claims of “Gender Arrogance” within the suit.
iHorror will keep you posted on the details as they emerge.
Have you seen Servant and The Truth About Emanuel? Let us know what you think in the comments below.