HBO Responds to Jerry West’s Request for an Apology

HBO Responds to Jerry West’s Request for an Apology

UPDATE: On April 26, in a statement issued to E! News, HBO responded to former franchise exec Jerry West, who previously demanded an apology from the network and producer Adam McKay over his portrayal in Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. Their response? The hit series is “not a documentary.”

“HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes,” the network said. “Winning Time is not a documentary and has not been presented as such.”

The statement continues, “However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen.”


We’ll be sitting courtside as this news plays out.

Last month, HBO released its new drama series Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty—based on the book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s by Jeff Pearlman—which follows the personal and professional lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers. On April 19, the legal team of former Los Angeles Lakers executive Jerry West sent a letter to HBO and Winning Time producer Adam McKay demanding a retraction and apology for his depiction in the series, according to ESPN.

West’s lawyer Skip Miller said in the letter, “Winning Time falsely and cruelly portrays Mr. West as an out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic,” which “bears no resemblance to the real man.”

“Jerry West was an integral part of the Lakers and NBA’s success,” the letter continued, “It is a travesty that HBO has knowingly demeaned him for shock value and the pursuit of ratings.”

“As an act of common decency,” the letter went on to say, “HBO and the producers owe Jerry a public apology and at the very least should retract their baseless and defamatory portrayal of him.”


Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

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