‘Billions’ producers face lawsuit over episode depicting Native Americans

The Cayuga Nation is not happy with Billions.

Tribal leader Clint Halftown and New York’s Cayuga Nation are launching a defamation suit against the critically acclaimed Showtime drama, Deadline reports.

Showtime and three of the show’s executive producers are named in the suit, which alleges that a Billions plotline contained depictions of “unscrupulous dealings and even criminal conduct.” The episode in question involves an illegal casino land deal, bribery, and blackmail as plot points.

The lawsuit specifically references season 4, episode 8, titled, “Fight Night.” In that episode, there are references to tribal members and a Native American character named Jane Halftown. The complaint states that “Defendants could have easily settled upon fictitious names for the characters in this show but, instead, chose to use Plaintiffs’ actual names.”

Deadline provided a partly redacted copy of the filing here.

In addition to damages, the plaintiffs want any mention of the Nation and Jane Halftown removed and never repeated on Billions. The series remains Showtime’s biggest hit and has been renewed for a fifth season.

Showtime told Deadline it had no comment on the Aug. 13 complaint or its allegations.


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Brenden Gallagher

Brenden Gallagher

Brenden Gallagher is a politics reporter and cultural commentator. His work has been published by Motherboard, Complex, and VH1. He’s the co-founder of Beer Money Films, an indie production company. Based in Los Angeles, he works in television drama as a writers assistant.