A black actor who co-starred in the 2009 film "Couples Retreat" is suing Universal Pictures and the now-defunct Relativity Media for breach of contract, fraud, and violation of California's Civil Rights Act.
In his lawsuit, the actor accuses Universal of "whitewashing" the advertising campaign. He alleges that Universal removed the photo of him and his black co-star from the movie poster that was used to promote the film internationally. The poster featured the other three couples in the film, who were all white.
The actor further alleges that Universal executives failed to make good on the promise they made to him to stop using the image and to offer him more acting jobs to make up for the offense, which is why he has filed his suit now.
The lawsuit states that the actor has "come to learn that Universal Studios' willful discrimination against him is emblematic of Universal Studios' (and its affiliated companies') systemic bigotry against its employees, Black actors, on-screen talent and athletes."
The actor said in a statement, "Social justice issues raised this year further galvanized my commitment to enter the fray and speak up for myself and for all Black actors by filing this lawsuit." Anousha Sakoui "'Couples Retreat' actor's suit accuses Universal Pictures of 'whitewashing' ad campaign" latimes.com (Nov. 25, 2020).