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Netflix Sued $1 Million For Using Man’s Photo in Murder Doc

Bynewsmagzines

Apr 18, 2023
Netflix Sued $1 Million For Using Man's Photo in Murder Doc


Sometimes, people don’t want to see themselves on television — and a Kentucky man is suing Netflix for $1 million for showing his mug on the small screen.

Taylor Hazlewood is suing the streaming giant for defamation after he discovered a photo of himself in January’s true crime documentary, “The Hatchet Yielding Hitchhiker.”

Netflix screenshot of Hazlewood’s photo used in the documentary.

In the program, Netflix followed the true story of a hitchhiker named Kai (his real name is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary) who became a viral sensation after he told news outlets he murdered a man with a hatchet to stop him from attacking a woman. (Three months after going viral, Kai was arrested for a different murder and later sentenced to 57 years in New Jersey prison.)

Related: Who Is Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker? Netflix Unpacks How the Viral Meme Sensation Went From Internet Fame to Convicted Murderer

Hazlewood claims that a 2019 photo he posted to his Instagram account of him holding a hatchet made its way into the film — even though he has zero relation to the crime or situation altogether.

Per the lawsuit, the photo appears as the film’s narrator asks: “Is this a guardian angel or a stone-cold killer?” Then, the writing on the screen reads: “You can never trust anyone.”

“Hazlewood is, of course, beyond angry that Netflix would implicate and connect him to such a salacious and infamous story and individual,” the lawsuit states, per The Washington Post.

Hazlewood also claims that friends and family members started reaching out to him when the documentary started to gain popularity, turning an innocent mistake into a viral fiasco.

“That’s going to go on for the rest of his life,” his attorney, Angela Buchanan said.

Hazlewood is seeking at least $1 million in damages from Netflix.

And as for McGillvary, he is not eligible for parole until 2061, though he is still claiming his innocence.

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