As one of Netflix’s most popular and critically acclaimed episodic efforts ever, you don’t often hear about The Queen’s Gambit coming in for criticism, with almost nothing but universal praise having been lavished on Scott Frank’s literary adaptation since it first premiered in October of last year.
The thrilling story of chess prodigy Beth Harmon is currently up for eighteen Primetime Emmys, having already won a Golden Globe for Best Limited Series or Television Film, with star Anya Taylor-Joy also landing the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.
However, the streaming service are now being sued for $5 million thanks to a defamation lawsuit filed by Soviet-era chess legend Nona Gaprindashvili, as per Deadline. In particular, the legal action pertains to a line of dialogue from the finale where one of the commentators quips that “the only unusual thing about [Beth], really, is her sex, and even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men”.
As a national hero in her native Georgia, not to mention championship-winning chess player who beat countless men and became the first woman in history to be named an international grandmaster, you can understand why Gaprindashvili bears umbrage against The Queen’s Gambit.
The suit is seeking damages for false, sexist, offensive and belittling statements made for the “cheap and cynical” purpose of creating dramatic stakes in The Queen’s Gambit‘s final episode, which Netflix have said they will “vigorously defend” after releasing a statement claiming the accusations hold no merit.