Yankees History: Yogi Berra Sues TBS Over Promotion
Sex and the City may have been one of the more annoying shows in the history of television. On this day in 2005, Yankees legend Yogi Berra sued TBS in regards to an advertisement for the show that used his name without his permission.
Chances are, you remember Sex and the City. It was the television equivalent of the chick flick, a show that guys everywhere detested. Following the exploits of four utterly vapid women, it was one of the worst programs on television. Of course, as I essentially watch baseball, this paragraph can be taken with a grain of salt.
known for being somewhat risque, the show also had some, shall we say, interesting promotions. One of those happened to involve Yankees legend Yogi Berra, who was considered as one of three possible answers to the definition of a yogasm. The options were: a yo-yo trick, sex with Berra, or what one of the characters wanted from a yoga instructor.
Understandably, Berra was not amused. In fact, on this day in 2005, Berra sued TBS over the promotion, demanding $10 Million in damages. He stated that the advertising campaign, which plastered his name over billboards, subway stations, and other public locations, damaged his reputation. His lawyers, in their eleven page filing, called the campaign “abhorrent.”
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Well, abhorrent was certainly one way to describe the advertising campaign. Or, for that matter, the show in general. Berra was a deeply religious person, and it is understandable that such a campaign would offend his sensibilities. Just imagine his reaction if he ever saw an episode.
In the end, Berra proved successful. The station and Berra came to an undisclosed settlement through mediation, with his lawyer Louis Smoley calling the payout “substantial.” Although Berra may not have gotten the $10 Million that he desired, it sounded like he received something close to that sum of money. Given his stature as a legend of the game, and a member of the Yankees, he certainly had a case.
Yogi Berra may have said a lot of entertaining things in his time, but on this day in 2005, TBS learned that they should not use the Yankees legend’s name without his permission. Especially when that usage involved a promotion for Sex and the City reruns.