Story at a glance

  • Nona Gaprindashvili is suing Netflix over a “sexist” line a character makes about her in the hit series “The Queen’s Gambit.”
  • Gaprindashvili, a female Soviet and Georgian chess champion, was the first female FIDE grandmaster.
  • A character in “The Queen’s Gambit” said that Gaprindashvili had never faced men in chess, which was false.

A female Soviet and Georgian chess champion is suing Netflix over a “sexist” line a character makes about her in the hit series “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Nona Gaprindashvili, the first female FIDE grandmaster, filed the $5 million lawsuit against the streaming giant in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Thursday, according to the New York Times.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a fictional series surrounding the complicated, and at times traumatic, life of the orphaned Beth Harmon, portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy, a trailblazing female chess prodigy who contends with a drug addiction. 

The lawsuit stems from a line a character recites in the series finale, saying, “Elizabeth Harmon’s not at all an important player by their standards. The only unusual thing about her, really, is her sex. And even that’s not unique in Russia. There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.”


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In reality, at the time the film takes place, the lawsuit states Gaprindashvili had faced off against 59 men, including 10 grandmasters.

“They were trying to do this fictional character who was blazing the trail for other women, when in reality I had already blazed the trail and inspired generations,” Gaprindashvili told the New York Times. “That’s the irony.”

The lawsuit is seeking damages for a “devastating falsehood, undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions.”

Netflix responded to the lawsuit in a statement to the paper, saying the company “has only the utmost respect for Ms Gaprindashvili and her illustrious career, but we believe this claim has no merit and will vigorously defend the case.”


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Published on Sep 17, 2021