Japanese Professor Sues Local Distributor of 'The Cove': Claims Misrepresentation

Tetsuya Endo discussed the toxicity of dolphin meat in the Oscar-winning documentary, but now calls the film 'extremely subjective and unscientific.'

TOKYO -- A Japanese professor who appeared in The Cove testifying about the toxicity of dolphin meat is now suing the local distributor of the Oscar-winning documentary claiming his opinions were misrepresented.

The first hearing in the lawsuit brought by Tetsuya Endo, an associated professor at a Hokkaido University, was held this week in Tokyo.

Endo claims that the editing of the film, as well as the captioning, altered the meaning of what he said. He also claims director Louis Psihoyos, who interviewed him, failed to explain it was an anti-dolphin hunting film. Endo said he was led to believe it was a documentary about mercury contamination of marine life, describing The Cove as “extremely subjective and unscientific.”

Endo is claiming 11 million yen ($131,500) in damages from Medallion Media, which owns the Japanese rights to the film, and the distributor, Unplugged Inc. The professor also wants his scenes removed from the documentary.

When The Cove was shown last year at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan – one of the first screenings in the country where it was filmed – Endo attended and voiced his objections to be featured in the documentary.

“I am asking the editor to cut my appearance, because it turned out to be very different from a scientific film, I never signed off on the use of my footage, so I want the director to apologize for using it without my permission,” Endo said.