In a case that proves you can be right without being legally right, Goodfellas actor Frank Sivero’s lawsuit against The Simpsons for stealing his likeness has been thrown out. Sivero contended the mob character Louie was a clear rip-off of his character Frankie Carbone from Goodfellas, and yeah … you can see where he’s coming from. Same creepy hair, same creepy cheeks, same creepy brow, same sexy sideburns.
Unfortunately for him, the judge didn’t see the resemblance … at least not enough to allow his $250 million dollar lawsuit to continue. Via Deadline:
The judge was quick to solidify her call that Sivero wasn’t the basis for The Simpsons mobster, because the cartoon character doesn’t look enough like him to merit a continuation of the mater. “If I was a teenage girl and I had a crush on your client, would I be happy with a poster of this character Louie?” she rhetorically asked Herrera. “Even if Mr. Sivero face was on this as long as it is parody you can’t win.”
Ah, parody. Where would we be without that particular fair use exemption? Probably in court, being extorted for 250 million dollars. Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first lawsuit Sivero has launched against someone using his Goodfellas character without financial compensation. In 2014 he sued a deli in El Cajon, California over a sandwich named the Frankie Carbone.