messiah netflix
[Photo via Netflix]

Netflix is facing a libel suit from The GEO Group over Messiah allegedly linking an I.C.E. contractor to poor conditions at immigrant detention facilities.

Even though the Netflix thriller describes the series as not based on actual events, the private contractor organization is claiming it portrays their facilities in a negative and false light.

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The series is about a CIA officer investigating a spiritual movement and shows a facility allegedly with the name and trademarks of The GEO Group.

Now, the contractor group is saying the show “falsely accuses GEO of detaining immigrants in overcrowded overheated rooms with chain-link cages and depriving them of beds, bedding, sunshine, recreation, and educational opportunities.”

Further in the complaint, it reads “Unlike in Messiah, GEO does not house people in overcrowded rooms with chain-link cages at its facilities, but provides beds, bedding, air conditioning, indoor and outdoor recreational spaces, soccer fields, classrooms, libraries, and other amenities that rebut Messiah’s defamatory falsehoods.”

They’re being represented in Florida federal court by the firm of Clare Locke who formerly took on Rolling Stone in a case regarding a controversial rape on campus story.

The second page of the complaint shows side-by-side photos of the facilities in the Netflix series and the ones GEO operates.

The company says “Netflix is willfully damaging GEO’s reputation, infringing on GEO’s trademarks, causing confusion as to GEO’s approval or endorsement of Netflix’s use of GEO’s trademarks, and denigrating the reputation and goodwill of GEO’s trademarks.”

They further claim their “state-of-the-art” facilities offer “safe, secure, and humane environments.” The organization is seeking an injunction plus compensatory and punitive damages.

You can read the full 30-page complaint here.

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Netflix ended up canceling the series after just one season but is still available on the service right now. Starting with its premiere at the beginning of the year, the series is one of many original series’ the streaming service is cancelling. The show’s creator Michael Petroni says he has ideas for future seasons as well. Now, they aren’t happening.

In case you haven’t seen it, check out the trailer below.

What do you think of the libel suit against Netflix? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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