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Earlier this month, Ablene Cooper, an African American maid and baby sitter working in Jackson, Miss., where Help is set, filed suit against Stockett. Cooper accused Stockett of causing her to severe emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation and outrage by appropriating identity for an unpermitted use and holding her to the public eye in a false light. issue is Aibileen Clark, a character in Help. Clark is a black woman who works as a maid and baby sitter for a white family in the early 1960s. According to Cooper lawsuit, the character first name is pronounced the same as her own, and she and the character are given the same nickname by the children they care for. In addition, the fictional Clark is a middle aged black woman with a gold tooth, as is Cooper. Cooper grown son died of cancer; Clark grown son dies in a workplace accident.
You don have to have read Help to be perplexed by such a lawsuit can a person really claim to be falsely represented by a work that clearly labeled as fiction? The answer is yes. Stewart listed 30 specific points of similarity between herself and the character, but objected to the character being depicted as a heavy drinker, a wing reactionary and an atheist.
Such cases are full of bizarre conundrums. The plaintiff must prove 1) that the defamatory fictional character is substantively accurate, otherwise it wouldn be recognizable as the plaintiff, and 2) that the portrayal makes serious, negative departures from the truth, otherwise it wouldn be defamatory. (Cooper is not technically a defamation suit, although it does avail itself of some of the language used in such suits.) The suit against Help also contends that Stockett has repeatedly denied that the character of Aibileen Clark was based on Cooper and at the same time has Ablene name and likeness for purposes, namely to sell more copies of Help. If Stockett truly managed the contradictory feat of using her novel connection to Cooper to sell books even as she assiduously covered up that connection, she is much, much more ingenious than a casual reading of Help might lead one to believe.
Those of use who have read Help may also wonder why anyone would be distressed or outraged to be likened to the noble Aibileen. Although poor and uneducated through no fault of her own, Aibileen is intelligent, brave and kind, apparently without significant flaws. Cooper lawsuit does manage to unearth two remarks from the novel in which Aibileen seems (arguably) to disparage her own color, but they are tiny scratches on an otherwise glowing portrait. The suit further claims that Cooper finds it offensive to be in Help as an African American maid in Jackson, Mississippi who is forced to use a segregated toilet in the garage of her white employer home. last complaint highlights yet another major difficulty for Cooper case. The issue of the segregated toilet is a key one in the novel; it makes Aibileen angry enough to agree to collaborate with a white woman, a journalist who wants to write a book about the lives of black maids in the town. Stockett has always maintained that she based the character of Aibileen on her own family African American maid, Demetrie, who, during Stockett childhood, used a similar segregated bathroom in her grandfather house.
This Authentic Carl Bradford Jersey was no doubt a demeaning experience for Demetrie, but it was far from unusual in the South of the 1960s, and it reflects negatively on Stockett family, rather than on Demetrie herself. If Cooper wasn subjected to such treatment, that because she wasn working as a maid for a white family in 1961, when Help is set; Cooper, who is 60, would have been only 10 at the time. Is the suit complaining that Help is an inaccurate portrayal of Cooper working conditions when she was the same age as Aibileen, around 54? Of course there are differences, since Cooper was 54 in 2005, not 1961.
As flimsy as the case against Stockett may appear to be on closer consideration, for many it still arouses an instinctive outrage if we don own our own life stories, what do we own? Stockett is white and privileged, and Cooper is poor and black. The racial politics of Help were pretty squicky to begin with, and the idea that Stockett the biography of her family maid just makes the whole thing seem outright exploitative. But even if you uneasy with the notion of a white woman writing a novel purporting to portray how African Americans viewed families like hers, there little evidence that Stockett appropriated Cooper story, as opposed to a couple of her traits and an approximation of her first name.
But wait the plot thickens even further. A careful reading of Cooper lawsuit reveals certain strategically vague spots. Stockett, it claims, asked not to use Ablene or likeness in Help. The document also states that Ablene worked for Stockett family. Early reporting on the suit assumed that Ablene worked for Stockett and that she asked Stockett directly not to use her name in the novel.
Not so. As Campbell Robertson reported for the New York Times on Thursday, for the last 12 years, Cooper has worked for Stockett brother and his wife. Cooper also told Robertson that she did not discuss the book with Stockett before it was published. So, presumably, she wasn the one to ask that her name not be used in it. Here what Cooper said when Robertson inquired about her employers role in the suit:
she did, they said it was wrong, Ms. Cooper said of the Stocketts, members of a Carl Bradford Youth Jersey prominent Jackson family. came to me and said, Aibee, we love you, we support you, and they told me to do what I got to do. Although Robertson refrains from drawing conclusions, his report is suggestive. Although it difficult to believe that anyone would feel revulsion and severe emotional distress at being identified with the heroic Aibileen, her employer, Miss Leefolt, is another matter.
A vain, status seeking woman married to a struggling, surly accountant and desperately trying to keep up appearances in front of fellow members of the Jackson Junior League, Miss Leefolt is the one who insists on adding a separate bathroom to her garage. She does this partly to impress Miss Hilly, the League alpha Mean Girl (and the novel villain), but she also talks obsessively about the kinds of diseases that carry. Furthermore, Miss Leefolt is a http://www.packersofficialauthentic.com/authentic-richard-rodgers-jersey.html blithely atrocious mother who ignores and mistreats her infant daughter, speaking wistfully of a vacation when hardly had to see [her] at all. Like all of the white women in the novel (except the journalist writing the maids stories), Miss Leefolt is cartoonishly awful and her maid has almost the same name as Stockett sister in law maid. Fancy that!
As Robertson noted, when Stockett was interviewed by CBS Katie Couric last year, she revealed that some family members had stopped speaking to her because they were so upset about Help. Furthermore, she said, everybody in Jackson, Mississippi thrilled with the way the she has depicted the town. The damages sought by Cooper lawsuit are limited to a modest yet significant $75,000; any more and Stockett could ask that the case be tried in federal court. As it is, the jurors for any trial will be drawn only from Hinds County, which contains the city of Jackson. She's nominated in both categories again, but Season 2 was a far less universally accessible thing; it went, in its 2013 season, from a show addressing the general malaise of Greenpoint post grads to an exploration of a very particular protagonist. She also wrote for the New Yorker a lot. Russell's comedy "Silver Linings Playbook." In 2013, she played to her strengths: After winning an Oscar, she starred in the second "Hunger Games" movie, on whose publicity tour she managed to charm everyone in America, and had another role in a David O. Russell comedy, "American Hustle," for which she might just win ANOTHER Oscar. By 2014, she may end up running a major studio, or serving as president.
Keywords: grown son dies in a workplace accident