Iran has threatened to sue the filmmakers who made the Academy award winning movie “Argo,” over their portrayal of Iran in the movie.

While American lawyers are dismissive of the possibility of a suit, they may not be thinking this through.

In the Fox News article linked below, a US attorney is quoted as saying that nothing would come of such a suit in the USA.

This much may be true. But that is where the whole issue of libel tourism raises its ugly head.

The report indicates that the Iranians are talking to a French attorney about the possibility of such a suit. There is not as of yet any mention of where such a suit would be filed, but the smart money isn’t on it being filed in the USA.

The suit is no doubt frivolous, but that won’t stop the Iranians from filing it somewhere at this point. To NOT file it now would result in their losing face. There are unfortunately many jurisdictions around the world which do not respect freedom of expression like we do in the USA. Hollywood can’t completely ignore the suit because if the Iranians were to get a default judgment, it could potentially result in complications for the distribution of movies in that locale going forward. Moreover, Hollywood makes big money off of international distribution of its products now; the days of movies being released only in the USA for American audiences are long gone.

So this is something that bears watching…


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