Rudy Giuliani is getting into the video game business. Rather than featuring his likeness in a game (though man, would I like to see a Sims version of the presidential race,) he will be teaming up with Activision Blizzard Inc, the company behind the Call of Duty franchise, to fight a menacing lawsuit.
The Call of Duty series has a habit of fictionalizing real events, everything from a movie like Forrest Gump to a political family like the Kennedy's has been featured in their games. In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Panama dictator Manuel Noriega is featured. Noriega was a corrupt leader and is currently in prison, he has been charged with drug trafficking, murder and money laundering, serving numerous prison sentences previously.
In the game, he is one of the "bad guys," taken down by CIA operatives. His aliases include "Pineapple Face" and "False Profit." Here's his bio in the game:
He aids the CIA in capturing Raul Menendez by sending the PDF to his cartel's plantation in Nicaragua. The PDF capture him, but Noriega later betrays his own men by helping Menendez. Despite this, the drug lord nearly beats Noriega to death. He is the objective of Operation Just Cause, the United States invasion of Panama. Alex Mason and Frank Woods are sent to look for him in the outskirts of the Panama City. He is captured, but Jason Hudson later informs that he is an HVI and must be taken safely to a U.S. Army checkpoint for a 'prisoner exchange'. He later takes advantage of his captivity and throws Woods under the bus by capturing Alex Mason and placing a bag over his head so Woods would mistake him for Menendez. Noriega is last seen when Woods shoots Mason and finds out about the whole trick and attempts to shoot and kill Noriega only to get shot in the legs by Menendez. Throughout the mission he is codenamed "False Profit" by the CIA.
Noriega took issue with this depiction, filing a lawsuit in July from prison, claiming Call of Duty fictionalized him as a "kidnapper, murdered and enemy of the state." The lawsuit caught Giuliani's attention, who is now partner at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, the Activision's defense firm. They will fight the lawsuit with a claim of free speech and filed a motion to dismiss it all together today.
"What's astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty. Quite simply, it's absurd," said Rudy Giuliani in a statement, "I'm not interested in giving handouts to a convicted murderer and drug smuggler like Manuel Noriega who is demanding money from Activision and its popular Call of Duty franchise for simply exercising its right to free speech. Noriega's attack on the rights of Call of Duty comes as no surprise considering he's a lawless tyrant who trampled over the rights of his own people."
Noriega is by no means the only dictator portrayed in the game. Fidel Castro makes appearances, as do many other cultural icons. This is the first lawsuit of its kind for the company, which sold $1 billion in games in the first 15 days Call of Duty: Black Ops II was released.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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