Famous people who hated their on-screen portrayals

NBA icon Jerry West demands legal retraction for "deliberately false" portrayal in HBO’s 'Winning Time'

Stars Insider

20/04/22 | StarsInsider

MOVIES Celebrities

Every film has its critics, but one critic you definitely don’t want is one the film is based on.

Los Angeles Lakers legend and NBA icon Jerry West didn't just dislike the portrayal of himself in HBO’s drama series 'Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,' but he even got his lawyers to demand retraction and an apology from HBO and the show's producers for their "deliberately false characterization."

In a letter issued to executive producer Adam McKay, HBO, and parent company Warner Bros.-Discovery on April 19, West’s attorneys state that the series has “caused great distress to Jerry and his family,” demanding a legal retraction within two weeks, reports Variety.  

The series, which was recently renewed for a second season, follows the Lakers at the beginning of the “Showtime” era in the '80s, led at the time by players such as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Jerry West is played by Jason Clarke, who portrays West as an aggressive executive agitated by his multiple NBA Finals losses as a player.

“You took a happy and super successful Lakers era and turned it into a pulpy soap opera,” reads the letter. “You depicted the people in a false light, not at all who they are, to garner ratings and make money."

The letter also contains testimony from individuals who worked alongside West at the time, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who offered his own criticism on his personal blog. "Instead of exploring his issues with compassion as a way to better understand the man, they turn him into a Wile E. Coyote cartoon to be laughed at,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote of West's depiction. “He never broke golf clubs, he didn’t throw his trophy through the window. Sure, those actions make dramatic moments, but they reek of facile exploitation of the man rather than exploration of character.”

Check out this gallery to see the surprisingly long list of famous people who think the films got it wrong.

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