Like the Notorious B.I.G. said, “Mo money, mo problems.” Well Rob Bliss, director of that infamous video in which a woman is repeatedly harassed by men as she walks the streets of NYC, is becoming well aware of that sentiment.
Allegedly, a lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Shoshana Roberts, the woman who had to endure the lechery of her fellow New Yorkers, citing lack of right to use her image in promoting the footage.
According to Jezebel, “Her attorney says Shoshana did not have a written agreement with Bliss. He wouldn’t say if she was paid for the gig, but believes she didn’t get everything she was promised. He refused to be more specific.” According to the Daily Mail, she was paid $200 — decent money before the video blew up like it did.
Roberts is seeking $500K over the violation of her public image from the video, which amassed a staggering 40 million views on YouTube.
Allegedly, the lawsuit also names anti-street harassment group “Hollaback!.”
Does she have a case? I guess we’ll find out. Olivia Thai, former associate of Just Kidding Films raised a similar complaint a while back. If this sort of legal action continues from performers, eventually someone is going to have to start a union or at the very least, lay down some ground rules about what constitutes one’s presence and participation in a YouTube video.
For more education on the matter of performance guilds, unions and actor’s rights, check out anything pertaining to the early years of Hollywood. It’s the same issues now for a new media medium as it was then.