A South Carolina fisherman has sued Senator Bernie Sanders for using his image in a campaign video that suggests he is involved in drug trafficking.
“An Egregious, Intentional False Association”
Jason Quinn, who was a professional bass fisherman for over two decades, is suing Sanders and his campaign team for using images of him in his boat in their video, “5 Reasons the Border Wall Won’t stop Drugs.” In the video, which according to the lawsuit, was posted multiple times on Sanders’s Facebook page during 2018 and 2019, says that a border wall will not stop drug trafficking as smugglers can just go by sea – Quinn and his boat are seen during this section of the video.
“Defendants did not obtain consent or seek to receive Quinn’s permission to use his likeness or identity,” the lawsuit, filed on Saturday in York County, SC, civil court, argues. “Plaintiff brings this action in order to vindicate an egregious, intentional false association created by the video whereby defendants suggested plaintiff is in any way associated in criminal activities, and specifically, that he is in any way associated with the trafficking of illegal drugs.”
Quinn is a conservative, and the lawsuit therefore also seeks to “vindicate the intentional false association created by defendants suggesting Quinn supports defendant Sanders, an association that directly conflicts with Quinn’s political and social values.” The lawsuit asks for a temporary, then permanent, restraining order against Sanders and the campaign for using its image, and to receive compensatory and punitive damages.
“A Lifelong Republican Who Opposes the Policies of Mr Sanders”
“This outrageous video created by Mr. Sanders and his campaign, which has been seen by millions of people, portrays Mr. Quinn – in an extraordinarily public and harmful manner – as a criminal and a drug smuggler,” Zach Merritt, Quinn’s lawyer, said Monday. “Mr. Quinn is a lifelong Republican who opposes the policies of Mr. Sanders. He is appalled that Mr. Sanders’s team would engage in the unauthorized use of his likeness and image to further Mr. Sanders’s campaign and his positions. This portrayal is completely contrary to who Mr. Quinn is as a person.”
It really is outrageous! Bernie Sanders, this rich, liberal elite politician from Vermont, is exploiting a conservative fisherman and portraying him as an international drug trafficker. Is it that hard to either get permission before you use somebody’s image, buy some stock footage, or just shoot some stuff yourself? There are YouTubers with tiny audiences who know this is not the done thing, so why can one of the biggest presidential campaigns not understand it?