Advertisement

Griselda Blanco's family says Netflix acted like her son, Michael Blanco, 'did not exist' after he shared his mother's story with the streamer

Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco in Netflix's "Griselda."
Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco in Netflix's "Griselda."Elizabeth Morris/Netflix
  • Griselda Blanco's son has sued Sophia Vergara and Netflix to block the release of "Griselda."

  • The dramatization of the Colombian drug queen's life is scheduled to be released on January 25.

  • In a statement to BI, the Blancos said Netflix should compensate Michael Blanco for sharing his story.

Griselda Blanco, known as the "Cocaine Godmother" for creating one of the most powerful cartels in history, is getting the Netflix treatment — but not if her family can help it.

The son of the Colombian drug queen is suing the streaming service, Latin World Entertainment, and actor/executive producer Sofía Vergara, among others, in an attempt to stop the release of "Griselda."

In the suit, Michael Blanco says the show's creators used his "private artistic literary work" without permission or credit, which has created "irreparable harm." TMZ was the first to report the news.

According to the lawsuit, filed Friday in Florida's Miami-Dade County court and reviewed by Business Insider, Michael is seeking a temporary injunction against Netflix to stop the streamer from releasing the limited series on January 25.

Michael is seeking at least $50,000 in damages for the unauthorized use of the family's image and likeness.

Representatives for Latin World Entertainment and Vergara did not respond to requests for comment from Business Insider made outside regular working hours. A representative for Netflix declined to comment.

A statement from the Blanco family provided to Business Insider by their lawyer said that Michael was "more than willing to share his hard work and the nonpublic details of his mother's life with Latin World Entertainment/Netflix if he was to be fairly compensated."

sofia vergara as griselda, a woman with scars on her face and neck standing in a city
Sofía Vergara in "Griselda."Netflix

"Make no mistake, Michael Blanco is humble and thrilled each and every time someone reaches out to shine a light on his mother and the Blanco family," the statement continues.

"However, in the case of Netflix/Latin World Entertainment, the Defendants approached Michael Blanco to gain his work, perspective, and insight to only turn around and act like he does not exist, in an apparent attempt to reap their own profits," according to the statement.

The statement added that the defendant's actions were "disappointing" and "common courtesy, consent, and compensation would have amicably resolved the issues with the Defendants and prevented this lawsuit."

The lawsuit says Michael provided interviews to two of the defendants, Andres Hernando Lopez and Rafael Alfredo Rojas Vega, from 2009 up until 2022.

Blanco says the two recorded him as he recounted "private details from his artistic literary work about his family's life" and expressed interest in working with him to publish a book and develop a Spanish soap opera.

According to the suit, Lopez and Rojas Vega then met with Netflix, which "opted out" of using Michael's private accounts. The two men "ceased all communication" with him after that, the lawsuit says.

Michael says that unbeknownst to him and without his permission, they proceeded to "actively market and sell" his story to "Griselda" producers Vergara, Luis Balaguer, Melissa Escobar, Latin World Entertainment, and Netflix.

The suit says Michael learned of the six-part series development through a news publication, which was billed as a "fictionalized" take on the life of the infamous drug dealer, who was fatally shot in a motorcycle drive-by assassination in 2012.

Griselda's story also inspired the film "Cocaine Godmother" starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, which premiered on the Lifetime channel in 2018.

Read the original article on Business Insider