Apple has delivered its defensive motion to the federal judge in charge of the trial brought by director Francesa Gregorini, who accused the “Servant” series available on Apple TV + of plagiarism.
The director of The Truth About Emanuel, Francesca Gregorini, says that the "Servant" series appropriated the plot of her film, also using the same cinematic language for a very similar result to his film in terms of feelings and themes. In addition to talking about the parallel points of the plot, Gregorini says that Servant also presents characters, scenes and staging choices and surprisingly similar and very idiosyncratic narrative methods .
The film The Truth About Emanuel features a 17-year-old babysitter who cares for a child who turns out to be a stern. This stern was created to replace a recently deceased child. The incipit is similar to that of Servant. Can we talk about plagiarism?
Apple offered an explanation for each of the charges filed by Gregorini:
The complaint by Francesca Gregorini is another example of this obsessive belief, so common among writers and composers, that any similarities between their works and those of others who will come out later must invariably be considered plagiarism. The plaintiff attempts to claim ownership of impracticable ideas, including a bereaved mother who believes that a “therapeutic” stern is her deceased child, or the presence of privileged and sophisticated white parents who hire the services of a nanny for their child. These concepts are drawn from real life and can be found in countless movies, TV shows and books.
Apple’s legal team then cited some of the countless similar works, comparing the plot, event sequences, themes, settings, rhythm and dialogues. And, of course, the differences between the film Gregorini and the Servant series are also listed:
There are many other differences between the plots of the two works. The Truth About Emanuel is told from Emanuel's point of view, indeed, the film begins with his voiceover. In Servant, the perspective is the opposite, as the series explores who (or what) is Leanne and where she comes from.
Furthermore, a stern that is coming to life is certainly not a new concept, having been explored in countless works, from the children's classic Pinocchio of 1883 to the remake of Child’s Play last year.
Despite certain similarities such as the chronology of history, which for Apple lawyers is certainly not something that can be protected by law, … The main themes of Emanuel and Servant, beyond pain and delusion, are radically different. Emanuel and Leanne are almost nothing like this. Beyond certain generic and unpredictable traits shared by actresses, their stories and psychology could not be more different .
Gregorini issued a statement following this motion, expressing his full confidence that the judges will note the “incredible similarities” between the two works: We must end the culture of Hollywood, where the powerful are free to steal and reuse the original work of others without fear or consequence .