Netflix gets thumbs down for using innocent man’s photo in killer hitchhiker documentary.
Taylor Hazlewood claims in his $1 million lawsuit that Netflix accidentally took an image from his personal Instagram page and inserted it into the documentary about an “axe-wielding hitman” convicted of murder.
Mr. Hazlewood, an intensive care respiratory therapist with no connection to the killer, says in his lawsuit that he learned that his photo — which shows him holding an ax and taken and shown to talk about his favorite childhood book “Hatchet, ” by Gary Paulson — had been used when friends contacted him after seeing “The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker,” according to Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA.
The documentary, released in January, traced the rise and fall of Caleb “Kai”; McGillvary, described by Netflix as a “happy-go-lucky nomad’s rise to viral stardom and the steep downward spiral that resulted in his incarceration.”
“For no reason other than sheer recklessness, Netflix misappropriated the Hazlewood photograph and used it in two separate parts of the film,” claims the complaint, filed in Dallas and seen by the news station. Netflix has not commented on the lawsuit.
“Hazlewood’s reputation has clearly been tarnished,” the lawsuit said. “There are many acquaintances who will see Hazlewood’s photograph in the film and will assume the worst without contacting Hazlewood to get the truth.”