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'60s model sues 'Mad Men' for using her photo in opening sequence

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Mad Men Gita May
Mad Men Gita May

When most people think of the Mad Men opening sequence, the first thing that comes to mind is Don Draper's silhouette falling through the sky. But Gita Hall May sees something else: herself. The former model is suing distributor Lionsgate Entertainment for using her likeness without permission or — perhaps more importantly — compensation. May claims the photo in question was lifted from a 1960s Revlon ad without her knowledge. "At no time did she agree to allow, forty years later, her image to be cropped from the photo, in secret, and inserted as a key element in the title sequence of a cable television series."

According to the complaint (which describes May as "the top model of her time"), she was only made aware of her presence in the titles last year — May's attorneys say the delay was because Mad Men airs only on cable rather than network TV. The document describes Mad Men's opening, which won an Emmy in 2008, as "integral" to the success the AMC series has enjoyed since its debut. May's likeness has been included in the sequence for the entirety of the series thus far, and as you'd expect she's seeking monetary relief for those airings.