12:08am PT by Matthew Belloni
Judge Rejects Actress Request to Pull 'Innocence of Muslims' from YouTube
A Los Angeles judge has denied an emergency request to pull the controversial video Innocence of Muslims from YouTube brought by one of the stars of the film.
Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress who appears in the 14 minute anti-Muslim clip that has sparked violent uprisings across the Middle East, sued YouTube and producer Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (aka Sam Bacile) on Wednesday, alleging that she was duped into appearing. She claims the producers violated her right to control her likeness and participated in fraud and unfair business practices. She also asked that a judge immediately order YouTube parent Google to remove the clip from the popular video-sharing website.
But in a quick ruling on Thursday, Superior Court Judge Luis Lanvin said Garcia had not demonstrated "a likelihood to prevail on the merits" of her request. The ruling comes at the urging of Google lawyers who appeared in court to oppose pulling the clip. Garcia's attorney Cris Armeta responded to the ruling by saying he will contnue to seek its removal from YouTube via a permanent injunction.
The case raises interesting questions because Garcia claims producers concealed the true purpose and content of the film when recruiting actors. She says she never would have agreed to perform in the film if she had known that her performance would be "changed grotesquely" and modified to "make it appear that Ms. Garcia voluntarily performed in a hateful anti-Islamic production."
Garcia says she has received death threats and fears for her famil's safety. She also claims she has been fired from her job since news of the film first surfaced.