Once upon a time, in 1978 to be exact, People Magazine published an article about microwaves. OK, you’re saying. What’s the big deal about that? What does this have to do with Jennifer Lawrence? Hold up — we’re getting there.
The article, The Microwave Menace Is Zapping Us All, was written by a guy named Jim Jerome (remember this name). In it, he quotes another writer named Paul Brodeur who states that this great new invention known as the microwave may actually sap all the nutrients from food.
Still, what does that have to do with J-Law?
Well, you may remember an academy award nominated movie that came out last year called American Hustle. And perhaps you may remember a particularly brilliant scene in which Jennifer Lawrence sets fire to a “science oven” — a.k.a. an electric microwave that her husband has gifted her. She accidentally sets fire to several things in the film, so we forgive you if it’s a bit fuzzy.
Anyhow, to cover her tracks and to take the blame off of herself she goes off on a tirade about an article about microwaves, saying “I read that it takes all of the nutrition out of our food.” She specifically goes on to mention that it’s written by a journalist named Paul Brodeur, which we now know from above, is false. The article was written by Jerome.
It’s one of several “flighty” monologues from the character, whom we don’t always trust to be correct. You can check it out yourself, below (the mention happens around :052). It’s just a quick little hit, but adds a nice factual add-on to an already tight and impressive script.
So, fast-forward to 2014. Paul Brodeur is now suing the producers of American Hustle for $1 million. He’s claiming libel, defamation, slander and false light, saying that the movie-mention damaged his reputation when it claimed he wrote the piece. Now that’s some science-oven thinking.
From the lawsuit itself:
“By misquoting Mr. Brodeur in this manner, the Defendants have suggested to the audience that Mr. Brodeur made a scientifically unsupportable statement,” the complaint says. “By attributing the untenable statement to Mr. Brodeur, Defendants have damaged his reputation.”
He has a point: if J-Law had only said Jim Jerome (the actual author of the original article) they could have avoided this entirely and been factually correct. Maybe Brodeur just sounds more “science.” Or maybe it was intentional. As anyone who’s seen the film knows, the character wasn’t exactly … grounded.