When Belvedere Vodka posted an ad on the brand's Facebook page — in which a man is grabbing a horrified/surprised woman, with the words "Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly" — some noted it looked like a rape, or like it was making light of rape. Belvedere pulled the ad, apologized, and donated money to RAINN. But Actress Alicyn Packard says she is the woman in the image, and is suing the company, saying that Belvedere did not have permission to use the screenshot.
The photograph is actually a still from a stricklyviral.com video titled "Awkward Moments, #542, The Baby Picture." In that context, the woman's horrified look takes on an entirely different meaning: She is being forced to recreate a photo from her childhood for her parents, while sitting on the lap of a family friend. Embarrassing? Yes. Rapey? No.
Alicyn Packard's lawsuit asserts that :
While Defendants have apologized to nearly everyone else, and admitted the offensiveness of the advertisement, they have yet to apologize to the plaintiff, whose image she says they used without permission to sell vodka, and who has now been unwillingly made the face of the Belvedere advertising campaign that jokes about rape, and has been put front and center in the worldwide controversy created by Defendants.
Just a few questions: Who the hell is grabbing random images to make these Belvedere Facebook ads? Does Belvedere know that this person is using photos and stills without getting permission? And does this person still work at Belvedere?
Actress Sues Over Controversial Vodka 'Rape' Advertisement [Hollywood Reporter]