Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


This Article explores the often sexy landscape of satire and parody, asking the question, Has the law gone too far in denying plaintiffs recovery for satire that cannot be taken as literally true? The case of Pring v. Penthouse International provides the touchstone. The author addresses topics including Jerry Falwell's unsuccessful suit against Hustler magazine, the public figure/private person distinction, commercial appropriation of name and likeness, and the opinion/fact distinction. The Article concludes that courts show more sensitivity to commercial than personal injury and fail to appreciate that satire can damage reputations by raising suspicions that statements are based on facts that are merely stretched.