Sunday, August 30, 2015

Scarlett Johannson Is Not Happy About This Book

Actress Scarlett Johansson
Actress Scarlett Johannson really, really wants French author Grégoire Delacourt's novel Le Première Chose Qu'on Regarde (The First Thing You See) banned.  But it is not going to happen.  Instead, the book is being translated and published in the U.K. by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on September 10.

Johannson did win a portion of the lawsuit she filed against the French publisher of the novel, but she prevailed on only one count of the suit and collected only a small portion of the amount she was demanding.  According to The Guardian:
“All of Scarlett Johansson’s demands were rejected except one thing that was seen to be an attack in her private life over two relations that she never had,” Emmanuelle Allibert of the publishers J-C Lattès told the Guardian at the time. “All her other demands … were rejected, notably that there should be a ban on the book being translated or made into a film. We just have to cut out the bit about the affairs.”
The novel's plot does sound rather interesting: a man begins a relationship with a woman he believes to be Johannson, only to learn that she is really just a Scarlett Johannson lookalike.  Delacourt describes his novel this way:
“So I asked myself, as an old advertiser, a young writer, and a father of a normal age, what we were doing to our children to stop them liking themselves as they were. And I suspected that appearances (fashion, models, actors) had become a more important model than what is inside.”   
So what do you think?  Should writers be allowed to use real celebrities as fictional characters in their books, novels in which they can place those celebrities into whatever positions or circumstances they believe move the story along?   The judge in Johannson's lawsuit did, in fact, rule that she was defamed by the book but he also ruled that the book can be translated and published around the world.  Is he right?  

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