Christian Bale Film Sued by NJ Tribe

Suit says 'Out of the Furnace' maligns Ramapough tribe

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 25, 2013 5:01 PM CST

(Newser) – Members of the Ramapough Native American tribe have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the makers of a recent Hollywood movie they say depicts their people in a negative light. The federal suit was filed this week in New Jersey against the writers and producers of Out of the Furnace. The suit claims the film makes false representations about the people who live in the Ramapo Mountains along the New York-New Jersey border about 25 miles west of New York City.

It claims that unsavory characters in the film have last names that are common among the Ramapough and that it perpetuates negative and unfounded stereotypes. Relativity Media, which released the film this month, has said it hadn't seen or had time to review the suit. The movie stars Christian Bale as a man trying to find his missing brother, who has gotten involved with a bare-knuckle fighting ring in the mountains of New Jersey. The movie's villain, played by Woody Harrelson, has the last name DeGroat, which is common among the Ramapough. Harrelson's character is the leader of a gang of "inbreds," according to the suit, who are depicted as lawless, drug-addicted, poor and violent, and live in the "mountains of New Jersey."

This image released by Relativity Media shows Christian Bale in a scene from 'Out of the Furnace.'
This image released by Relativity Media shows Christian Bale in a scene from 'Out of the Furnace.'   (AP Photo/Relativity Media, Kerry Hayes)
This image released by Relativity Media shows Christian Bale, left, and Casey Affleck  in a scene from 'Out of the Furnace.'
This image released by Relativity Media shows Christian Bale, left, and Casey Affleck in a scene from 'Out of the Furnace.'   (AP Photo/Relativity Media, Kerry Hayes)
This image released by Relativity Media shows Woody Harrelson, left, and Christian Bale in a scene from 'Out of the Furnace.'
This image released by Relativity Media shows Woody Harrelson, left, and Christian Bale in a scene from 'Out of the Furnace.'   (AP Photo/Relativity Media, Kerry Hayes)
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The movie's trailer.   (YouTube)

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