Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ross Rebagliati reaches settlement in lawsuit against CTV's "Whistler" television show

I am very pleased to announce that Ross Rebagliati, the Olympic gold-medal winning snowboarder, has reached an out of court settlement in his lawsuit against the CTV program "Whistler".

Ross's lawyer Joyce Thayer has done a formidable job on his behalf to get this resolved.

Ross is a genuine nice guy and working with him as a client was great. I wish Ross and his wife Alexandra all the best with their new ventures in Kelowna.

Here is their news release regarding the settlement.

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Ross Rebagliati
First Ever Olympic Gold Medalist in Snowboarding


Thursday, April 24, 2008


VANCOUVER, BC – CTV Television Inc., Boardwatch Productions Inc., Uphill Productions Inc. and Kelly Senecal offer settlement in favour of first ever Olympic Gold Medalist in snowboarding, Ross Rebagliati, in lawsuit over television show “Whister”.

In 2006 Ross Rebagliati took legal action against CTV Television Inc. and producers of the television show “Whistler”, charging misappropriating of personality and defamation. Rebagliati, who won a gold medal in the first ever snowboarding competition at the Nagano Olympics in 1998, said the television show “Whister” misappropriated his image.

“I am the only Canadian Olympic snowboard gold medalist, with blue eyes, blonde hair who lives in Whistler,” Rebagliati said. “The similarities between my personality and the central “Whistler” program character Beck MacKaye are obvious.”

“I am glad I was able to get my message out, as I have worked very hard on my image since returning home from Nagano. I am grateful that CTV has taken this matter seriously and I look forward to working more closely with them in the future”, said Rebagliati.

Along with coaching his international RASTA camps (Rebagliati Alpine Snowboard Training Academy), Ross lends his time to multiple charities including the upcoming Westside Cycling Classic with Trevor Linden (Vancouver Canucks) and Axel Merckx (Tour de France competitor and Olympic Cycling Medalist) to support cancer research in BC on June 1st in Vancouver [media conference for event on May 1st in Vancouver].


Anonymous said...

Snowboarding isn't my favourite sport but the guy was represented poorly by CTV. Glad to see they ended paying for their representation and its nice to see he and others are doing work that benefits others.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I fail to see the relevance to this posting. People are screwed everyday, in everywhich way. The program Whistler, is just that. Wasn't interested in the show at all.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I can't say that the broadcaster acted with malice against Rebagliati. Nor did their product reduce his reputation. However, they got enough publicity out of the lawsuit to reward the ex-boarder. Sometimes everybody wins.

Who remembers the suit that arose when Vanderzalm (then Social Service Minister for Bill Bennett) claimed libel against a cartoonist who portrayed him pulling wings off a fly. Vanz won, but: isn't caricature inherently hyperbolic? Should the courts limit free expression of satiric comment, where exaggerations are made to illustrate harsh conduct?

Then there was the case where Alex Macdonald lost a libel suit after he spewed pseudo speculative pejorative - in the heat of political battle - about a Socred's alleged taste for "whiskey on his cornflakes."

I'm with our American friends on the law of libel; apply it in only the clearest of cases, and NEVER where the communication exaggerated something with a factual basis. Vanz was harsh on the poor and marginalized. So what if that characterization was over-stated.

Anonymous said...

Wow really heavy!
Glad Ross came out of it all ok.

Anonymous said...

Now will someone sue the Nutty Mayor for ruining Vancouver? All this development to feed the greed of developers and real estate sales types! Livi8ng in 550 sq. ft. is psychologically unsound.