The Cayuga Nation tribe are suing Showtime’s drama ‘Billions’ after they claimed an episode shows ‘them’ engaging in ‘fraud, bribery and other immoral behavior’.
In the lawsuit submitted to New York Supreme Court, the Nation claims producers have damaged their reputation by not changing their name in the show and using an ‘offensive stereotype of Native Americans’.
They accused producers of being lazy with their character ‘Jane Halftown’ who shares the same last name and could be based on real-life representative Clint Halftown.
Producers claim they altered the names of main characters including Damian Lewis known as ‘Bobby Axelrod,’ who is believed to be based on hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, according to TMZ.
The Nation have told them producers and Showtime that they can resolve the issue by no longer referring to the Cayuga people, changing the name of ‘Jane Halftown’ and paying them compensation.
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Showtime and the producers of ‘Billions’ (left) are being sued by the Cayuga Nation after they claimed an episode defames them and one of their representatives Clint Halftown (right)
The producers of TV drama ‘Billions’ (L-R) Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Koppelman, and David Levien, have been listed as the defendants in the plaintiff
The television network Showtime and the show’s producers Brian Koppelman, Andrew Sorkin and David Levien have been listed as the defendants.
‘Billions’ is a series about the political power struggles of those in the world of New York high finance.
The Cayuga Nation have taken offence to the episode broadcast on May 5, which shows negotiations of a casino land deal between ‘Jane Halftown’ and Paul Giamatti’s character.
The fictional character, who shares the same last name as Clint Halftown, tries to bribe and then later blackmail a public official in an illegal deal.
The Nation claim their reputation has been damaged as a result of the scenes shown in the episode entitled ‘Fight Night’ from season four.
The Cayuga Nation claim that episode ‘Fight Night’ from season four defamed the tribe. One of the characters ‘Jane Halftown’ (right) shares the name of one of their representatives
The show say they did change the names of main characters including Damian Lewis known as ‘Bobby Axelrod,’ who is believed to be based on hedge fund manager Steve Cohen (left). But the Cayuga Nation believe the character ‘Jane Halftown’ sharing the same last name as their representative Clint Halftown (right) was offensive and lazy
The plaintiff states that the portrayal was a ‘deliberate and intentional resort to an offensive stereotype of Native Americans as irresponsible, corruptible, and even criminal’.
They cited four different counts of defamation in the plaintiff and have currently not asked for a specific amount of money, stating that it should be decided during a trial and an additional figure awarded by the judge.
The report added that the episode did ‘little service to the Nation’s rich history’ and showed them and Halftown ‘involved in unscrupulous dealings and even criminal conduct’.
They believe that nearly a million people tuned into watch the episode on Showtime and more saw it after the show was additionally broadcast further through Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
DailyMail.com has reached out to Showtime for comment.
Who are the Cayuga Nation?
The Nation are a Native American tribe that occupied and owned much of the land in New York
They were known as ‘The People of the Great Swamp’ and were one of five nations known as the Haudenosaunee
The Nation were caught in the middle of the Revolutionary War between the British and American colonists – fighting on either side and some abstaining
Later they were forced to flee to Ohio, Canada and Oklahoma when General George Washington sent troops to destroy them and the Haudenosaunee
The Cayuga Nation are now recognized in New York and by the United States
They argue that illegal land transactions and treaties were made in New York State because they did not seek federal approval
The Cayuga fight for the free use and enjoyment of a Treaty established reservation
Source: The Cayuga Nation of New York