The next time you watch Mad Men, you may find yourself paying a little closer attention to the opening credits. Last week, Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation was sued by a model from the 1950s and 1960s who is alleging the company violated her publicity and privacy rights by using a photograph from her in the show’s opening credits without her permission.
According to a complaint filed in California state court (PDF), the woman in the picture is Gita Hall May, now 79 years old. In the opening credits of Mad Men, a shadow of a businessman is shown falling against the backdrop of office buildings and advertisements from the 1950s and 1960s. One of the advertisements, per the complaint, depicts a cropped photograph of May from an old Revlon campaign. According to May, she consented to the use of her likeness and the photo embodying it only for the Revlon campaign, not 40 years later as part of a title sequence of a television series. May brings her complaint under a number of charges, including misappropriation of the right of publicity for commercial purposes and invasion of privacy.
You can view the opening credits below. The image at issue appears around the 22 second mark.
Click here to watch video.