Fans of the CBS drama “Evil” may be interested to know that there is a lawsuit pending against a season two episode!
In the episode, the “God Helmet” is a device that makes several characters see demons and relive traumatic experiences. Although it makes for entertaining television, the God Helmet actually exists, and its creator is now suing CBS and King Size Productions for using his invention.
Creator Of The God Helmet Sues CBS
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On Monday, January 10, creator of the God Helmet, Todd Murphy, is suing CBS and the “Evil” production company for misrepresenting his device. According to the complaint, which was filed in the Central District Court of California, Murphy is suing for federal trademark infringement, trade libel, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotion distress.
The suit states that King Size Productions and CBS Studios Inc., “wrongfully, intentionally, and negligently infringed on Plaintiff’s rights by negatively portrayed Plaintiff’s trademark and God Helmet device.”
According to the lawsuit, Murphy trademarked his God Helmet on or about October 31, 1995 and commercially used it on or about September 1, 2009. The God Helmet is described as a device that “subtly stimulates the temporal lobes with magnetic signals to create altered state of mind, simulating a religious experience.” Murphy says that he has published multiple research papers and a book about his device and has over 23 years of research to support his claims.
Murphy Claims That ‘Evil’ Purposely Misconstrued His Device
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On September 26, 2019, the first season of the CBS drama “Evil” was released on the streaming service Paramount+. On or about June 20, 2021, the second season of the show was released for streaming. In season 2, the eighth episode titled “B is for Brain,” focused on the concept of the God Helmet.
In the episode, the character Kristen actually says “Oh right, the God Helmet” when she first sees the device. A man then responds, “Actually, that’s trademarked, so we’ve been asked not to call it that.”
The lawsuit points to this as “clear and convincing evidence that Defendants CBS and KING did research for their episode because Defendants knew of the God Helmet, the way the helmet works, and the trademark.”
It further alleges, “Therefore Defendants knew the depictions and statements would create a false impression about Plaintiff’s device and trademark.”
The lawsuit says that the episode “falsely represented it [the God Helmet] as a torture device, including but not limited to having characters see demons, relive traumatic experiences, and loss of spirituality.”
It adds, “The episode continues to depict negative experiences to its users, giving its viewers a false depiction of the true purpose of the real God Helmet. The episode leaves the characters that used to helmet with anxiety, frustration, visions of h—, and claims that it reduces spirituality, in conflict with Plaintiff’s published research and studies.”
God Helmet Creator Claims CBS Acted In ‘Reckless Disregard Of The Truth’
Murphy claims in the lawsuit that the episode’s use of the trademark has cost him profits, was negligently used to present his invention in a false light, and that his website is no longer on the first page of Google since the episode’s release.
The lawsuit claims that CBS and King “intentionally and knowingly” aired the trademark, adding that their “egregious and intentional use of Plaintiff’s trademark is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive, mislead, betray, and defraud the viewer who believes that the God Helmet will leave long lasting negative effects on the individual who uses it.”
In addition, he says that CBS “used the platform Paramount+ to publish to [the] viewer that the God Helmet device was used to see demons, h—, and traumatic experiences for the sake of ‘scientific research.’”
He claims that they “knew their statement and depictions of the God Helmet were untrue and acted in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity in order to create an episode to attract and engage viewers.”
God Helmet Creator Suffered ‘Emotional Distress And Humiliation’ From The Episode
“In doing the acts herein alleged, Defendants CBS and KING acted with oppression, fraud, malice, and conscious disregard of Plaintiff’s rights, and Plaintiff is therefore entitled to punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial according to proof,” the lawsuit added.
Murphy claims that he has “suffered severe emotional distress and humiliation” as a result of the episode, “including but not limited to anxiety, stress, depression, and physical sickness.”
Murphy is requesting an “immediate and permanent injunction” to remove the episode in question from all of its media platforms. Murphy has also requested general damages, special damages, and an “award for punitive damages for the willful, wanton, and reckless behavior of Defendants.” He is also seeking attorneys fees and “any other relief this Court deems just and fit.”
Murphy is seeking a jury trial, but it is likely that parties will agree to a settlement.