Model Sues Over Mad Men's Use of 50-Year-Old Photo

Gita Hall May's image appears in title sequence

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2013 10:02 AM CST
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email

(Newser) – Gita Hall May, a model and actress in the 1950s and 1960s, says Mad Men used her image in its title sequence without her permission, and now she's suing Lionsgate. May, who was known as just Gita Hall when the photograph was taken by Richard Avedon more than 50 years ago, is now 79. She says she only consented to the photo being used in a Revlon ad, and accuses the show of secretly cropping her image from the ad and using it "for commercial purposes," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Why did she wait so long to sue? She doesn't have cable, so she only just discovered the use of her face when Mad Men came out on video last year. The lawsuit calls May's image the centerpiece of the title sequence, stating that it "perfectly personifies the period" by representing the "iconic female beauty of the age." She wants to be compensated for the "revenues that her image contributed to their profit," which stands at an estimated $1 billion. The Reporter notes that the show nabbed the 2008 Emmy for outstanding main title design.

Gita Hall May, left, in the 'Mad Men' title sequence.
Gita Hall May, left, in the 'Mad Men' title sequence.   (Vimeo)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
The 'Mad Men' title sequence.   (Vimeo)

« Prev« Prev | Next »Next »
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.