Earlier this week, it was reported that a group
of barbers and beauticians were threatening to sue Reverends Jesse Jackson and
Al Sharpton for negative statements made by the two about the movie “Barbershop.”
The group claims the statements allegedly drove customers away.
On Monday, the National Association of Cosmetologists
(NAC) filed a $60 million lawsuit against the two men. It accuses Jackson and
Sharpton of “intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud, and negligence”
stemming from their demand for apologies from MGM, which produced the high earning
film. “Barbershop” grossed over $71 million at the box office in seven
weeks of release.
All this comes after the two Reverends threatened
the studio with a boycott for scenes ridiculing Martin Luther King, Jr. and
Rosa Parks and demanded the scenes be removed from the movie starring Ice Cube
and Cedric the Entertainer. MGM refused to cut the scenes.
James Stern, Chief Executive of NAC, which represents
over 50,000 barbers and beauticians, said the threat to boycott the film and
other remarks created a negative public sentiment about the profession, resulting
in a loss of business. Stern continued to say, “By threatening to boycott
MGM studios, they put a black eye to our subject matter of barbers and cosmetologists
in the state of California.”
Sharpton responded by saying he had not received
a copy of the lawsuit and called the allegations ridiculous. “Every movie
critic would get sued,” he said. “We haven’t addressed their
business. I addressed the film.”