Anti-Muslim video to remain on YouTube

Judge denies actress's efforts to remove movie

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge on Thursday denied an actress’s effort to compel YouTube to remove the incendiary anti-Muslim video in which she appears.

Cindy Lee Garcia, who appears in “Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked protests throughout the Middle East, said that she was deceived into working on the movie by its producer, Sam Bacile. Instead of a historical film about the Middle East, the movie was made into a hit piece on the Prophet Mohammed. Garcia sued on Wednesday, citing a variety of claims and charging that the video has put her personal safety at risk.

But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Luis A. Lavin said he could would not grant a temporary restraining order that would require that Google and YouTube remove the video. He found fault with Garcia’s claim, including that it lacked evidence of a contract.

A mystery is what was signed. At a press conference outside the court, Garcia’s attorney, Cris Armenta, said that they “haven’t been able to locate one.” She reiterated that they believe it is irrelevant to the case because they are claiming that Garcia was fraudulently told about the nature of the project.

Timothy L. Alger, appearing on behalf of Google and YouTube, argued that Garcia’s claim was superseded by the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which limits states from extending liability to third parties.

He also said that her privacy and right of publicity claims did not pass muster because she was playing a character. An example, he said, would be Arnold Schwarzenegger claiming that the “Terminator” movies reflected badly on him because he appeared as a cyborg.

But Armenta, who appeared in court with Garcia, said Schwarzenegger “signed on to act as a cyborg. Ms. Garcia did not sign on to be a bigot.”

Bacile, identified as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has not yet been served with the suit. He was not present at the hearing in downtown Los Angeles.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • YouTube TV Adds Subscription Options for

    YouTube TV Adds Subscription Options for AMC Networks' Acorn TV, UMC

    Google’s YouTube TV now offers two more add-on channels to subscribers, under an expanded pact with AMC Networks: British TV service Acorn TV and UMC (Urban Movie Channel), which features a selection of black TV and film titles. Acorn TV’s add-on channel is now available via YouTube TV for $6 per month and UMC is [...]

  • homepod-white-shelf

    Apple Said to Prep Cheaper HomePod for 2020

    Apple is getting ready to introduce a cheaper version of its HomePod smart speaker in 2020, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The company is also working on a new version of its AirPod headphones for next year, according to Bloomberg. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The new version of the HomePod is said [...]

  • Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Copyright

    Eminem’s Publisher Sues Spotify, Claiming Massive Copyright Infringement

    Eminem’s publishing company Eight Mile Style filed a major copyright infringement lawsuit against Spotify late Thursday, claiming that the streaming giant has no license to host about 250 of Eminem’s songs, while also taking aim at the Music Modernization Act, the federal law enacted last year to improve royalty payments for songwriters. The news was [...]

  • iQIYI headquarters building in Beijing

    China’s iQIYI in Talks for Indonesia Expansion

    Chinese streaming firm iQIYI is in negotiations to expand further into Southeast Asia through a venture with Indonesia’s Media Nusantara Citra. iQIYI announced its first step outside Chinese-majority territories in June, when it revealed a linkup in Malaysia with pay-TV leader Astro. It also operates in Taiwan. In April, the company said that it planned [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content