Ava DuVernay's Netflix series When They See Us grabbed the attention of individuals everywhere as the show depicted the true tale of five New York youth who were arrested and convicted for horrible crimes they did not commit. Once the show hit the streaming service, it brought on a lawsuit by John E. Reid and Associates, the company that created the Reid Technique of interrogation. 


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The company sued Ava and Netflix for defamation after one scene in the series sees a character rejecting and shaming the interrogation process. "Defendants published the statements in ‘When They See Us’ in an effort to cause a condemnation of the Reid Technique," John E. Reid and Associates stated in court documentsVariety now reports that Ava and the streaming platform have responded to the case calling it "unconstitutional and dangerous." 

“The dialogue at issue is fully protected speech under the First Amendment and is not actionable as a matter of law,” their defense states. “Permitting this case to go forward would not only be contrary to law, it would have a profoundly chilling effect on core First Amendment speech.”

The dialogue in question that sparked the lawsuit is as follows: “You squeezed statements out of them after 42 hours of questioning and coercing, without food, bathroom breaks, withholding parental supervision. The Reid Technique has been universally rejected.”