Netflix Afflicted lawsuit

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Netflix sued by subjects of ‘Afflicted’ docuseries

Participants feel they were misrepresented in the docuseries about chronic illness.


Brenden Gallagher


Published Aug 8, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 6:58 am CDT

Netflix could be in legal trouble as four participants in 2018 docuseries Afflicted are suing the streaming giant for how the project portrayed them on-screen.

The four participants—Jamison Hill, Pilar Olave, Jill Edelstein and Bekah Dinnerstein—brought a 50-page complaint against the service on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Decider reports. They allege the docuseries about mysterious chronic illnesses “portrayed Plaintiffs as lazy, crazy, hypochondriacs and/or malingerers.” The complaint also asserts that plaintiffs feel they suffered “scorn and abuse.”

The plaintiffs, who refer to themselves as the “Afflicted Four,” argue the series portrayed their illnesses—which range from chronic fatigue syndrome to myalgic encephalomyelitis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis—as psychosomatic. They also allege that Netflix and the show’s producers assured them they would not be portrayed in this light when they signed on to be part in Afflicted. 

The complaint continues: “In response, and at the behest of Defendants [executive producer Dan] Partland and Netflix, the Afflicted Four were assured … that Afflicted would be a serious Netflix documentary, with science and interviews with experts in the field and that Afflicted would show the Afflicted Four’s lives and struggles with their illnesses through a ‘compassionate lens.'” (You can read the whole complaint here, via Deadline.)

At the time of publication, Netflix has not responded to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.

When it premiered  in August 2018, Afflicted used the logline, “Baffling symptoms. Controversial diagnoses. Costly treatments. Seven people with chronic illnesses search for answers—and relief.”


H/T Decider

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*First Published: Aug 8, 2019, 12:49 pm CDT