Captain Phillips Movie “Based on a True Story.” Real Life Crewmembers Outraged - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Captain Phillips Movie “Based on a True Story.” Real Life Crewmembers Outraged

Captain Phillips Movie “Based on a True Story.” Real Life Crewmembers Outraged

In 2009 the MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship was hijacked by Somali pirates—and today this story is retold in the box office smash Captain Phillips.  However, the crewmembers aboard the hijacked ship feel that Hollywood’s story fails to portray the true heroes that emerged and have commenced legal action against the ship owners Maersk Line and Waterman Steamship Corp.

According to the crewmen, the real Captain Phillips fell short of a hero, and the true stars were Navy personnel and marksmen.  Phillips was taken hostage on a small lifeboat, while crewmembers were left to fend for themselves.  According to the attorney representing the crewmembers, “the pirate hijacking would never have taken place if not for the negligence of the captain, shipping company, and ship operator.”  Supposedly Phillips ignored warnings to navigate at least 600 miles off the Coast of Somalia, and only steered 250 miles away from the cost in an attempt to conserve time and money.

Jaycee Sternlieb

Jaycee Sternlieb is a second-year student at Fordham Law and a staff member of the Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal. She studied business administration at The George Washington University, and had her first glimpse into the field of intellectual property while interning at a boutique patent and trademark law firm in Washington, DC.