Apple TV+ new show Servant is the center of a new copyright infringement lawsuit by Francesca Gregorini. Gregorini, a filmmaker, claims Apple TV+ and co-creator M. Night Shyamalan and Tony Basgallop, copied her 2013 psychological thriller The Truth About Emanuel. Both movie and show share many similarities other than the use of a realistic doll by a woman that is coping with the loss of her infant and hiring a nanny to care for it.
Gregorini also says there are many other “similarities between the two productions aside from their plots, including elements such as “characters, scenes, directorial choices, and modes of storytelling,” including a number of specific shots in each — especially among the first three episodes of Servant.”
Shyamalan and Basgallop claim that “any similarity is a coincidence,” and “arrogantly dismissed Ms. Gregorini’s protests” by saying that Servant was in development prior to the creation of The Truth About Emanuel.” Both men also claim to have never seen Gregorini’s film, but this is also not the first time that Shyamalan has been accused of using another story’s plotline.
Gregorini, who has directed for Netflix, Amazon, and AMC, goes further in a recent statement comparing the response by Shyamalan and Basgaloop as patriarchal. She is seeking an unspecified amount in damages and an end to the show.
“It’s an apt metaphor for the real-life version of what could happen here: It takes only a few old guard Hollywood men, such as Mr. Shyamalan and Mr. Basgallop, and their new Silicon Valley partner Apple TV+, to negate the considerable achievements and life experiences of the women behind Emanuel, and to irredeemably tarnish their work,” the suit states. “Just as the male perspective cheapens the female experience in Servant, Mr. Shyamalan and Apple TV+ diminish Ms. Gregorini and her largely female team.”
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