Sole Target Of HBO Report on Child Labor Sues for DefamationWed Oct 29, 2008 @ 12:59AM PST
By Eriq Gardner
What's worse — allegedly outsourcing the work of the manufacturing of soccer balls to an Indian company that pays children 5 cents per hour or less; or claiming in a lawsuit that a media portrayal is defamatory because it should be targeting other soccer ball manufacturers as well.
Mitre Sports International says in a defamation claim filed in Britain against HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" that "Despite explicitly stating that 'Real Sports' had found 'at least 10 international brands' of soccer balls being stitched by children, the report falsely, maliciously, and intentionally mentions and targets one and only one brand, Mitre."
The company says it plays a leading role in the international effort to eliminate child labor in the manufacture of soccer balls, does not permit child labor, and presented HBO with proof that its allegations were wrong. According to the complaint, the show was rebroadcast at least 55 times.