Jeremy Piven Sends Cease & Desist To Stop Play From Mocking Him

from the is-your-ego-that-fragile? dept

I've been a fan of the actor Jeremy Piven for years, but apparently he's a bit quick on the legal trigger. His lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist letter to a playhouse that has been showing a mocking play called "The Piven Monologues." Apparently, Piven had pulled out of a planned gig on Broadway in a revival of David Mamet's excellent play "Speed the Plow" (a role that Piven would be great in, actually). Piven claimed he couldn't do it because of "mercury poisoning" from eating too much sushi -- an odd excuse to be sure. Mamet supposedly was heard to comment: "My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer," leading some playwrights to put together a quick play more or less mocking and parodying the whole situation. Piven's lawyers are claiming that it's defamatory, but it's difficult to see how anyone would take anything in such a play seriously, as it's obviously a spoof. But, in these days of aggressive litigation and people thinking they get to control every use of their own brand or name, is it any surprise that Piven would lawyer up?


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  1.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 17th, 2009 @ 4:53pm

    Analyzing comment stream:

    [Silence]

    HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

     

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  2.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Sep 17th, 2009 @ 5:32pm

    Re: Analyzing comment stream:

    I second that.

    David Mamet is good with a quip, it would seem.

     

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  3.  
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    Matt (profile), Sep 17th, 2009 @ 5:50pm

    Seems reasonable to me

    Without reading the C&D myself it is hard to say, but if it says what the lawyer says it says it sounds pretty reasonable: go ahead with your show, but do not say anything false or defamatory. That's just plain good advice, and free to boot.

    My guess is that Piven's lawyers were just being cautious, to let people know they were watching the production and it would not fly under the radar. For better or worse, people often do horrible things when they think no one is looking.

     

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  4.  
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    Who cares?, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    *YAWN!*

     

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    hndymn, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 6:05pm

    Apparently you and your readers don't keep up---the production of "Speed the Plow" opened in NY last fall to excellent reviews--Piven withdrew a couple of months later, claiming mercury poisoning from a diet too heavy on sushi(!).
    The story received wide press at the time, he was the subject of a great deal of snarky comment. Eventually it went before (first) the League of NY Producers, and then to an arbitration hearing with Actor's Equity. I believe ultimately (I could be wrong)he was reprimanded but unpunished.

     

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  6.  
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    mymomdidnteatfish, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 6:30pm

    mercury poisoning is real

    I'm just annoyed that everybody is like "mercury poisoning", a lame excuse. It's actually a very good excuse. In the past 10 to 50 years, perhaps even longer, the amount of mercury in the lakes and rivers of the East Coast has risen quite alarmingly. Given that Piven was eating sushi more than twice a week for about three years, I'm surprised that he didn't collapse a lot sooner, or that he is still alive. Mercury builds up fast in the body and sticks around a long time.

    The fact that nobody has heard of this medical problem is a bit scary. Women SHOULD be very aware of it since even small amounts of mercury can cause mental retardation in a fetus. I used to see posters up at doctor's offices all the time warning pregnant women against eating fish.

    And um... did anybody take basic chem in highschool? There was a reason the teacher didn't allow you to handle mercury and play with it, as fun as the terminator-like substance is. You can be poisoned just by holding it, and it does some serious damage.

    As for Piven, maybe he's just trying to save his career since no one will take him seriously. I mean, just because you all eat your saturated fat Mc-Fish burgers aaalll the time, and don't pass out doesn't mean that eating real fish isn't a risk.

     

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  7.  
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    Rob Miles, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 6:54pm

    "Women SHOULD be very aware of it since even small amounts of mercury can cause mental retardation in a fetus."

    Can they pick who's fetus?

     

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    HolaJohnny (profile), Sep 17th, 2009 @ 8:18pm

    Re:

    I'm not sure but if his reasons are correct I would recommend not Jeremy Piven's love child...

     

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    NullOp, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 9:07pm

    Best Advise, ever...

    Best advise I ever gave or got: Grow a thick skin!

     

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  10.  
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    Luci, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 10:39pm

    Re: mercury poisoning is real

    What does this have to do with anything? This isn't about how lame an excuse mercury poisoning is (honestly, how much sushi DID he eat? Seesh!). Rather, this piece is about how quick he is to send lawyers after a play that mocks him. Not that he's got a leg to stand on, of course, and to an earlier commenter about not saying anything 'false' about him? Matt? You can say all the false shit you want, so long as it isn't meant to be taken as truth. In a mockumentory? I'd say that you can't really bitch and moan about much, because it's not meant to be taken seriously.

     

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    Luci, Sep 17th, 2009 @ 10:42pm

    Re: mercury poisoning is real

    I missed something. Re: Mercury poisoning. Be aware of what you're eating, and you don't have to worry about it. Seriously. Yes, some fish are higher in mercury than others. Not sure if the fish you like is a danger? Look it up or ask someone who knows. Blindly blathering about 'omg! fish! mercury poisoning!' doesn't help a goddamned thing.

     

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    Norm (profile), Sep 18th, 2009 @ 12:01am

    Re: Seems reasonable to me

    Wait ... what?
    It seems to me that you are saying that the use of the legal system is a valid to to simply say "We're watching you"?
    That is a complete waste of the courts time and money (our money). If they want to say "we're watching you", they shouldn't use a lawsuit as the communications medium.

     

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    Norm (profile), Sep 18th, 2009 @ 12:03am

    Re: Re: Seems reasonable to me

    Correction: "...the use of the legal system is a valid tool to simply say..."

    Hit Submit by accident instead of Preview.

     

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    DS, Sep 18th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re:

    Wow, what a great story. I cannot believe that I missed the news about petty bickering in live theater

     

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    chris (profile), Sep 18th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re: mercury poisoning is real

    In the past 10 to 50 years, perhaps even longer, the amount of mercury in the lakes and rivers of the East Coast has risen quite alarmingly. Given that Piven was eating sushi more than twice a week for about three years, I'm surprised that he didn't collapse a lot sooner, or that he is still alive. Mercury builds up fast in the body and sticks around a long time.

    i totally agree. mercury poisoning isn't funny.

    unless it happens to jeremy piven. then it's hilarious.

     

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    btr1701 (profile), Sep 18th, 2009 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Seems reasonable to me

    > It seems to me that you are saying that the
    > use of the legal system is a valid to to
    > simply say "We're watching you"?

    A cease-and-desist letter is not a use of the legal system. No court is involved. It's merely a letter from one individual or firm to another.

     

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    stefsam (profile), Sep 19th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    Jeremy Piven Sends Cease & Desist To Stop Play From Mocking Him

    People need to remember he won the case. hndymn he was not reprimanded. The sided in his favor and believed that he was sick. That he did nothing wrong and not break his contract. What people don't get and get the facts mixed up on his illness is that it was not just a diet of sushi but consuming only seafood 3 times a day for over 20 years with a combination of Chinese herbs. That because of the mercury poisoning it attacked his heart and was told by the doctors that told him if he did not pull out of the play then he would have had a heart attack.

    The other thing people need to remember he has been through a year of people bashing him and did not say 1 word. Although he did like David Mamet's line cause it was good. I think he has been through enough. It wouldn't shock me if the producers of Speed the Plow are behind this new play because they are sore losers.

     

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  18.  
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    Hua Fang (profile), Sep 20th, 2009 @ 8:14am

    be a codonologist

    Content > Concepts > Codons > Codonology. Sound familiar? Refreshen your memory, then you'll understand more deeply about what human knowledge and reasoning really are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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