HOUSTON (CN) – Two men claim Viacom and its BET division defamed them in the Oct. 10 episode of the BET show “American Gangster,” by showing their photos and calling them “murderers.” James Prince, who runs a rap record label, and Thomas Randle also sue Apple, which sells the episode for download through iTunes.
Prince, who runs Rap A Lot records, and Randle say they have never been convicted of “any felony offenses, let alone murder.”
They claim the defendants repeatedly showed their photos on the show along with the image of Larry Hoover, the now-imprisoned leader of the Gangster Disciples, a Chicago street gang. They claim this representation creates “the impression that Mr. Prince and Mr. Randle were complicit in the involvement of the criminal activities attributed to Mr. Hoover, which included alleged murders.”
Prince and Randle say they are not public figures but “are very well known in the business circles of the entertainment industry”. They claim they notified the defendants before the show was broadcast that it was defamatory.
See the federal complaint.