Woody Allen Sues Over Rabbi Billboard

American Apparel ads didn't have comedian's blessing
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2008 12:37 PM CDT
Director Woody Allen attends a special screening of "Cassandra's Dream" hosted by the Cinema Society and DKNY Jeans at the Tribeca Grand Screening Room, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 in New York.    (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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(Newser) – Woody Allen is suing American Apparel for plastering his image on various billboards and advertisements without his permission, the Wall Street Journal reports. The ads showed the director dressed as a rabbi beside Yiddish text that translates to “the Holy Rebbe.” Apparel neglected to ask Allen’s permission, the lawsuit says, and the director wants $10 million to smooth things over.

Allen is, of course, Jewish, and the image was taken from one of his films. It appeared not just on billboards, but on American Apparel’s website and its Internet advertising. The breach is “especially egregious,” the lawsuit says, “because Allen does not commercially endorse any products in the United States of America.”