HBO’s “Winning Time” series drew 1.4 million viewers on Sunday, marking the third week in a row that the show hit an all-time high.
Despite the encouraging numbers, HBO has a bit of a problem with its portrayal of certain characters on the show.
In a chat with LA Times sportswriter Bill Dwyre, Lakers legend Jerry West is outraged by the project and could take legal action if HBO continues on its trajectory.
(via the LA Times)
Although the letter seemed to suggest that legal action could take place if these demands are not met, West apparently confirmed that was his intention during his discussion with Dwyre.
“The series made us all [the Lakers] look like cartoon characters,” West told Dwyre. “They belittled something good. If necessary, I will take the case to the Supreme Court. »
HBO said it has no plans to honor West’s requests.
“‘Winning Time’ is not a documentary and was not presented as such,” HBO said in a statement Tuesday. “However, the series and its portrayals are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO steadfastly supports our talented creators and actors who have brought to the screen a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history. .”
This isn’t the first time West has spoken about his “Winning Time” performance. Earlier this month, his attorneys sent a letter demanding an apology from HBO.
“The depiction of NBA icon and LA Lakers legend Jerry West in ‘Winning Time’ is fiction purporting to be fact – a deliberately false characterization that has caused great distress to Jerry and his family,” said Skip Miller, Associate of the Miller. Barondess LLP law firm in Los Angeles and attorney for West. “Contrary to the baseless portrayal of the HBO series, Jerry had nothing but love and harmony with the Lakers organization, and in particular the owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, at a time when he was gathering one of the greatest teams in NBA history.
“Jerry West was integral to the success of the Lakers and the NBA. It’s a travesty that HBO knowingly belittled him for his shock value and continued ratings. As an act of common decency, HBO and the producers owe Jerry a public apology and at the very least should withdraw their baseless and defamatory portrayal of him.
It is important to specify that “Winning Time” is not a documentary. It is a dramatization based on the “Showtime” era of the 1980s Lakers.
At the time, West was a Lakers executive who helped lead and manage one of the most successful streaks of any team in NBA history. On the show, however, they have West as a complicated, short-tempered man who frequently resorts to alcohol to calm his nerves.
It’s obviously not a portrayal the Lakers legend enjoys, but whether HBO or anyone involved with the show itself will make any changes to the character remains to be seen.