In new twist, actress sues YouTube to remove anti-Islam video

The actress Cindy Lee Garcia said she was deceived as to the true nature of the film project

In a new twist over the controversy surrounding an anti-Islam movie trailer on YouTube, an actress shown in the trailer has filed a lawsuit demanding that YouTube and its owner Google take down the video.

Google has maintained so far that the video, which sparked off protests in many countries, is clearly within its guidelines and so will stay on YouTube.

Actress Cindy Lee Garcia in a complaint filed Wednesday before the Superior Court of the State of California for the county of Los Angeles stated that "the lawsuit is not an attack on the First Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution) nor on the right for Americans to say what they think, but does request that the offending content be removed from the Internet."

Garcia, who claims invasion of privacy, misappropriation of her likeness, fraud, and unfair business practices, alleged in her complaint that she was cast in a film titled "Desert Warrior" and that defendant Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, a resident of Los Angeles county, told her that it was an adventure film about ancient Egyptians.

On July 2, Bacile is alleged to have published on YouTube a video entitled "The Innocence of Muslims" which had its soundtrack manipulated to make it appear that Garcia was slandering Islam and Muslim beliefs, according to the complaint which names Nakoula, Google and YouTube as defendants.

The plaintiff was unaware of the vile content contained in the film as the content and overall purpose of the film was concealed from them at all times by defendant Bacile and other as yet unnamed defendants, according to the complaint.

Garcia said that after the film was published on YouTube she had received death threats, was fired from her job, and was not permitted by her family to see her grandchildren, fearing for their safety.

YouTube informed her in writing that it has declined to remove the content despite her privacy concerns, according to the complaint.

Garcia will seek an emergency temporary restraining order against Nakoula and YouTube on Thursday in the court, according to a statement by attorneys The Armenta Law Firm. She seeks an order that the content be removed permanently from YouTube, it added.

Google did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

The trailer which mocks the Prophet has led to protests at U.S. embassies and consulates in various countries including Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

So far, Google has blocked the trailer in six countries: Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Although the company finds that the trailer is clearly within its guidelines and so will stay on YouTube, it has restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia, it said.

The trailer was also blocked in Libya and Egypt given the very sensitive situations in these two countries, Google said last week. Four Americans including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens were killed last week when a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was stormed by gunmen. (

Pakistan and Bangladesh have blocked the entire YouTube website after Google declined to remove access to the video.

White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said last week that the U.S. does not and cannot stop individual citizens from expressing their views. He however criticized the video as "disgusting and reprehensible."

The decision to block the video in Egypt and Libya was determined solely by a company in the U.S. with presumably no local expertise, and without consulting local civil liberties groups in either country, Internet rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation said in a blog post on Thursday. "Given the freedoms that Egyptians and Libyans risked their lives for during the uprisings of 2011, it is a shame that a Western company would serve as arbiter of what they are and are not capable of viewing online," it added.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?