When the Panama Papers came out back in 2016, some incredibly unscrupulous business dealings were laid bare for all to see.
At the centre of the mess was the law firm Mossack Fonseca, whose confidential files were exposed during the leak, and now two of the men involved are trying to scare Netflix out of releasing The Laundromat.
As you may have guessed from the movie’s name and the lawsuit, The Laundromat isn’t exactly going to paint Mossack Fonseca in the prettiest of lights.
This from the Guardian:
In a US lawsuit filed on Tuesday, Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca say The Laundromat, in which they are respectively played by Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, portrays them as “ruthless uncaring lawyers who are involved in money laundering, tax evasion, bribery and/or other criminal conduct” and ask the court to stop it from being screened.
In documents filed to the court they say the release of the film is likely to subject them to “additional bail and/or conditions for each new crime imputed to them in the movie” in Panama, where they are set to go on trial on charges related to the law firm.
And it would also interfere with their right to a fair trial in the US, where they are under investigation by the FBI, they said in a legal memorandum filed with the district court in Connecticut.
“Once the cat is out of the bag, it is impossible to put it back without the consequence of tainting a verdict,” they say in the documents.
“This is especially true where the cat is named ‘Laundromat’ and the charges would include money laundering.”
Take one look at the trailer, and you’ll see that they’re probably right to fear the backlash that’s coming:
You really don’t want Meryl Streep involved in a movie that unpacks your criminality, because then you know they’ve brought in the big guns.
As things stand, Netflix has yet to file a defence, and a date for a hearing has not been set.
Something tells me this could be another shining example of the Streisand Effect in action.
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