Actress sues over inclusion in Green Day musical promo

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Actress sues over inclusion in Green Day musical promo

Fri Aug 13, 2010 @ 09:22AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Idiot EXCLUSIVE: Producers of "American Idiot," the anti-establishment Broadway adaptation of a Green Day album, have been sued by a former cast member who isn't happy about the way she's been exploited.

Morgan Weed, who served as an understudy for the lead female role of "Whatshername," claims in a new lawsuit that the production company filmed her performing in rehearsals without consent and used the footage to promote the show on television, in print and online. 

Ironically, "American Idiot" is a song about an individual rebelling against the propaganda of a media-saturated society. Weed's lawsuit alleges that producers misappropriated her identity and likeness and caused her emotional distress by blasting her image in its promo campaign.

Weed performed the role when the show was in its gestation phase at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in the Bay Area. That's where she was filmed. By the time the show got to Broadway, Weed was no longer part of the cast.

Nevertheless, Weed says producers continued to use footage of her, including her singing a version of Green Day's power ballad "21 Guns" at the band's studio, despite never requesting permission for future use of her image. She says the efforts were "extreme and outrageous" and caused her severe mental anguish, manifested by headaches, sleeplessness, anxiety and stress.

Weed is demanding compensatory and punitive damages and says she's entitled to some of the show's profits for damaging her reputation and jeopardizing future projects. 

Really? Sounds a tad overstated, but it'll be up to higher authorities to figure out the harm to an actress suffering from a little extra publicity.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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