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Griselda Blanco’s Family Comes For Actress Sofia Vergara, Others Over Netflix Series

BY Abena Dzaka January 24, 2024 6:38 PM EDT

The Netflix adaptations of Griselda Blanco, credited with founding one of the most potent cartels in history, is being met with backlash from the “Cocaine Godmother’s” family.

To prevent “Griselda” from being released, the son of the Colombian drug queen is suing Latin World Entertainment, the streaming service, and actor/executive producer Sofía Vergara, among others.

In the lawsuit, Michael Blanco claims that the producers of the show exploited his “private artistic literary work” without giving him credit or authorization, causing “irreparable harm.”

Michael is requesting a temporary injunction against Netflix to prevent the streaming service from launching the limited series on January 25th, per the lawsuit which was filed in Florida’s Miami-Dade County court and examined by Business Insider.

Michael is seeking at least $50,000 in damages for the unauthorized use of the family’s image and likeness.

Representatives for Latin World Entertainment and Vergara did not respond to requests for comment from Business Insider made outside regular working hours.

A representative for popular streaming service, Netflix, also declined to comment.

A statement from the Blanco family provided to Business Insider by their lawyer said that Michael was “more than willing to share his hard work and the non-public details of his mother’s life with Latin World Entertainment/Netflix if he was to be fairly compensated.”

“Make no mistake, Michael Blanco is humble and thrilled each and every time someone reaches out to shine a light on his mother and the Blanco family,” the statement continues.

“However, in the case of Netflix/Latin World Entertainment, the Defendants approached Michael Blanco to gain his work, perspective, and insight to only turn around and act like he does not exist, in an apparent attempt to reap their own profits,” according to the statement.

The statement added that the defendants’ actions were “disappointing” and “common courtesy, consent, and compensation would have amicably resolved the issues with the Defendants and prevented this lawsuit.”

The lawsuit says Michael provided interviews to two of the defendants, Andres Hernando Lopez and Rafael Alfredo Rojas Vega, from 2009 up until 2022.

Blanco says the two recorded him as he recounted “private details from his artistic literary work about his family’s life” and expressed interest in working with him to publish a book and develop a Spanish soap opera.

According to the lawsuit, Lopez and Rojas Vega then met with Netflix, which “opted out” of using Michael’s private accounts. The two men “ceased all communication” with him after that, the lawsuit says.

Michael said that unbeknownst to him and without his permission, they proceeded to “actively market and sell” his story to “Griselda” producers Vergara, Luis Balaguer, Melissa Escobar, Latin World Entertainment, and Netflix.

The lawsuit says Michael learned of the six-part series development through a news publication, which was billed as a “fictionalized” take on the life of the infamous drug dealer, who was fatally shot in a motorcycle drive-by assassination in 2012.

Griselda Blanco’s story also inspired the film “Cocaine Godmother” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, which premiered on the Lifetime channel in 2018.