Mad Men‘s opening sequence is considered one of the most recognizable on TV today. It shows the figure of Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, falling along the skyscrapers on Madison Avenue. As he falls you see the advertisements on the buildings that he uses to manipulate the American post-war consumer.
The opening credit sequence even won an Emmy Award in 2008 for Outstanding Title Design. One of the advertisements shown in the sequence is a 1950′s Revlon hairspray ad. The model in the ad, Gita May Hall, filed a lawsuit yesterday in Los Angeles that claims they used her likeness without her knowledge or consent.
The main title sequence of Mad Men was essential in building it’s success. The claim says,
“The main titles were integral to the success of Mad Men…the creators of this title sequence (this being Hollywood) fully hoped that they would sell the pilot, sell the series, and make millions. As it turned out, it made them billions, and (this being Hollywood) Defendants have since made every effort to…exploit the program and pocket the proceeds.”
Lionsgate who owns Mad Men, has not commented on the suit but it’d be quite odd for such a large company to not get proper permission for the images used. Considering the ad was for Revlon, it’s safe to say Gita May Hall does not have full legal rights to the photograph. Hall claims that even though the show’s been on for years, she just saw it recently last year because it moved to cable. Check out the opening credits of Mad Men below with the Revlon ad.
Do you think Gita May Hall is within her rights to sue Mad Men?