Nona Gaprindashvili is suing the streaming giant for a line uttered by a commentator in the final episode of the limited series.
Netflix is being sued over an inaccurate and "grossly sexist" line of dialogue which was said in 'The Queen's Gambit'.
The Anya Taylor-Joy series, which launched in October of last year to major success from both critics and viewers, quickly becoming one of the most talked-about TV series of the year. Dealing with family and drug issues were secondary to the placement of a female chess player at the frontrunner in a sport which was, at the time, primarily played by men. Based on Walter Tevi’s novel from 1983, the series proved to be a global success.
However, Soviet chess player Nona Gaprindashvili did not enjoy the series, and has sued Netflix for $5 million in a defamation lawsuit. The Georgian chess player, who is mentioned briefly in the final episode, has had a trailblazing career as a chess player against both men and women. In the series, a commentator remarks that Gaprindashvili "has never faced men", which fuelled the 80-year-old's lawsuit, as it is false.
The lawsuit reads: "The allegation that Gaprindashvili 'has never faced men' is manifestly false, as well as being grossly sexist and belittling. By 1968, the year in which this episode is set, she had competed against at least 59 male chess players (28 of them simultaneously in one game), including at least ten Grandmasters of that time, including Dragolyub Velimirovich, Svetozar Gligoric, Paul Keres, Bojan Kurajica, Boris Spassky, Viswanathan Anand and Mikhail Tal. The last three were also world champions during their careers.
"Netflix brazenly and deliberately lied about Gaprindashvili’s achievements for the cheap and cynical purpose of 'heightening the drama' by making it appear that its fictional hero had managed to do what no other woman, including Gaprindashvili, had done.
"Thus, in a story that was supposed to inspire women by showing a young woman competing with men at the highest levels of world chess, Netflix humiliated the one real woman trail blazer who had actually faced and defeated men on the world stage in the same era.
"This arrogant refusal to take responsibility for its actions was shockingly tone-deaf, given the sexism and offensiveness of its lie."
In case you hadn't noticed, that is a Checkmate of a statement.
The streaming giant had this response to the allegations: "Netflix has only the utmost respect for Ms. Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case."
'The Queen's Gambit' is up for a number of Emmy Awards at this weekend's ceremony, including Best Actress for Anya-Taylor Joy as Beth Harmon, as well as supporting nods for Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Moses Ingram.