The drama surrounding Netflix’s Narcos has suddenly got more dramatic than the show itself!
Following the death of location scout Carlos Munoz Portal, Pablo Escobar’s brother told Netflix they should hire hitmen for security during the filming of the show.
Portal was shot dead in a rural area close to Mexico City on September 11 while looking for filming locations.
Now 71-year-old Robert De Jesus Escobar Gaviria is also demanding Netflix pays his company Escobar Inc. a billion dollars for using his brother’s name and story without his permission.
Gaviria was chief accountant and right-hand-man to Pablo during his reign.
He told The Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix are scared. They sent us a long letter to threaten us.
Right now, we are in discussions with them through our attorneys Browne George Ross LLP to obtain our $1 billion payment. If we don’t receive it, we will close their little show.
You see, we own all the trademarks to all of our names and also for the Narcos brand. I don’t play around with these people in Silicon Valley.
They have their phones and nice products. But they don’t know life and would never dare to survive in the jungle of Medellin or Colombia. I have done that.
Their mothers should have left them in the womb. That is what we tell people like this if they come to Colombia.
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It will be interesting to see how Netflix responds to the whole situation.
From the looks of it if they don’t pay out, Gavaria and his friends are going to do something about it.
Olof Gustafsson, the CEO of Escobar Inc., also spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about why they are suing Netflix.
At first, they refused to acknowledge us. After we registered all the trademarks and we’ve been granted some of them, they sent us a cease-and-desist letter.
After that our attorneys and their attorneys have come to an agreement that basically they need to pay us something. Now it’s a matter of determining how much that something is.
At the end of the day, if we don’t take a deal, then we own the trademarks. They would have to rebrand their entire show. They know this. This is why they’re talking to us.
Otherwise they would never entertain any discussions with a drug cartel family.
Fortunately for Netflix, and fans of Narcos, the show has already found success even beyond the Pablo Escobar story-line.
It looks like it might have to stay far away from Colombia, Mexico and the Escobars though, just in case.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.