Oregon Man Sues Lionsgate for Allegedly Using His Image to Depict a Terrorist in ‘The Next Three Days’

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but what about $300,000?

At first this lawsuit sounds frivolous: a man is suing Lionsgate over the 2010 Russell Crowe film The Next Three Days because his image briefly appears in the film without his permission.  But then when you find out that his picture was allegedly included on a computer screen with “Most Wanted Fugitive” figures like Osama Bin Laden, Bilal Ahmed‘s claims of “appropriation of name or likeness and publicity that places him in a false light” for being “depicted as a wanted fugitive along with other known or alleged terrorists or fugitives, including Osama Bin Laden”, well, it starts to make a bit more sense.

You can (briefly) see what he means in the trailer below, where, at approximately the 2:06 mark, a computer screen with the Most Wanted list is shown.  While it’s too quickly cut into the trailer, the plaintiff alleges his image appears four times on the computer screen “1 hour 54 minutes and 52 seconds to 1 hour 56 minutes and 25 seconds into the Movie”.

Now, not knowing Mr. Ahmed I can’t possibly pick which image is of him or even if the image actually is him and not a terrorist look alike. 

Doing some research into the matter I discovered that while there is a Portland-area terrorist named Ahmed Bilal, the former fugitive is currently serving time in prison for conspiracy to aid terrorism. Bilal Ahmed, however, is apparently a different man with a similar name and, if it actually is his image used by mistake, has a very good chance of winning the lawsuit.  I know The Wrap article teases Ahmed about the lawsuit — particularly with its multiple comments about Ahmed being forced to change his hairstyle — but if his image was used without his position in the film I can understand his anger at the very least.  After all, would you want to suffer the consequences of being depicted as a terrorist in a movie?

As compensation for “impairment to future earning capacity, damage to his reputation, mental anguish and suffering, humiliation, and embarrassment,” Ahmed is suing for $250,000 in damages and an extra $51,000 (an estimated .01 percent of the film’s gross), plus attorney costs. So perhaps he does have a case.  Then again, if the picture isn’t even of the plaintiff this actually is a frivolous lawsuit and I take back all my sympathy.    

Check out a brief glimpse of the scene in question below (around the 2:06 mark) in the trailer:

2 Comments

  1. Ernest Cavazos via Facebook

    November 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Wth.. people suck

  2. Daily Actor via Facebook

    November 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Ridiculous. I hope they sue him right back for the money this is costing them.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/anson-mount-inhumans.jpg
Marvel’s Inhumans: How Anson Mount Developed Black Bolt’s Communication
"I tend to be more interested in a character’s weaknesses than I do their strengths and in a comic book/graphic novel space, it’s easy to lose sight of that, you know?" - Anson Mount
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Jodie-Whittaker.jpg
Jodie Whittaker on Becoming the First Female Doctor Who
"To be asked to play the ultimate character, to get to play pretend in the truest form: This is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place." - Jodie Whittaker
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-sag-conversations-with-act.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Actors from Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’
The cast speaks about filling the big shoes of the original cast and performing in perhaps the most popular American musical in decades.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-sag-conversations-with-bil.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Billy Bob Thornton of ‘Goliath’
Thornton talks about playing a character that some would say is fairly typical for him as well as his career as a whole.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-evangeline-lillys-lost-aud.jpg
Watch: Evangeline Lilly’s ‘Lost’ Audition
Check out the audition that grabbed the attention of the Lost creators above!