Hasbro Inc. sues creator of Ghettopoly
Friday, October 24, 2003
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The company that makes the Monopoly board game has sued the man who created "Ghettopoly" -- a knockoff featuring "playas" who build crack houses on Cheap Trick Avenue instead of hotels on Boardwalk.
The lawsuit by Hasbro Inc. seeks unspecified damages from David Chang, alleging he violated Hasbro's trademarks and copyrights and created "irreparable injury" to Hasbro's reputation. It also wants the court to order Chang to stop producing and selling Ghettopoly.
"While the genuine Monopoly game has become a wholesome and respected American icon ... the Ghettopoly knockoff has generated a firestorm of controversy for its highly offensive, racist content," said the filing Tuesday in Providence federal court.
Ghettopoly mimics Monopoly, except game pieces include a gun and marijuana leaf. In place of the "Mr. Monopoly" logo of a man with his arms outstretched, Ghettopoly uses a caricature of a black man holding a submachine gun and bottle of malt liquor.
The game drew outrage from minority leaders this month after it began selling at Urban Outfitters stores. The retail chain stopped its sales of the game, and Yahoo! and eBay notified Chang they would halt online sales.
"I just can't believe they are doing that," Chang, 28, told The Associated Press. He said he intends to fight the lawsuit.
Chang, who said he is Asian, said he got the idea for the game while watching "MTV Cribs," a television show that often features the homes of rap artists.
"I came up with something that has an urban edge," he said. "I didn't make the game to offend anybody."
Chang said he did not know how much money he has made off of Ghettopoly so far.
Hasbro, based in Pawtucket, is the parent company of Parker Brothers, which began producing Monopoly in 1935.
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