LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jack Ass says "Jackass" has given him a bad name.
A Montana man who legally changed his name to "Jack Ass" in 1997 has sued media giant Viacom Inc., claiming its stunt-heavy, gross-out TV show and movie "Jackass" had defamed his character.
In a suit filed in November in Montana and posted this week on a legal Web site, Jack Ass, who said he changed his name to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and responsible choices, claimed Viacom was "liable for injury to my reputation that I have built and defamation of my character which I have worked so hard to create."
The suit asks for damages of $10 million or more. Jack Ass is representing himself.
Jack Ass, a journeyman power lineman by trade, said he changed his name from Bob Craft in late 1997 as part of a personal crusade against drunk driving after his brother and a friend were killed in a car crash. Theirs was the only vehicle involved.
A spokeswoman for Viacom referred calls on the suit to MTV Networks, its subsidiary which aired the "Jackass" show. A spokeswoman for MTV Networks said its policy was not to comment on pending litigation.
"Jackass," the show and movie, featured outrageous stunts and practical jokes. The show ran in 2000 and 2001 before it was canceled. The movie, which came out earlier this year, made more than $60 million at the U.S. box office.
Earlier this month a New Mexico teenager died in what police said was an attempt to imitate a stunt he saw in the film. In November, a Seattle teenager suffered serious burns trying to imitate another stunt from the show.
Jack Ass runs a Web site (www.andiass.com) centered around a donkey-like cartoon character "Andi Ass," which touts T-shirts, baseball caps, souvenir beer bottles and a message of responsible drinking.
He also runs a not-for-profit service called Hearts Across America (www.heartsacrossamerica.org) that sells heart-shaped markers to be placed at the sites of fatal accidents involving drivers, power line workers and for use in memorializing dead pets.
"I really want to emphasize the importance of this work," he told Reuters. Original link HERE.
Does this mean I can now sue Electronic Arts over their use of the name "Sims"?