Were Emily Ficker and Hanley Baxter defamed by Screenwriters vs. Zombies?
Might Hanley Baxter and other talent agents have been treated harshly?
Emily Ficker and Hanley Baxter could have grounds for legal action…
Professor, screenwriter and satirist Alan Nafzger has been repeatedly called out for provocative and satirical film twists and talent agent Emily Ficker, a self described Nafzger victim, refuses to stay silent. She says she was defamed along with Hanley Baxter and other talent agents. Nafzger’s reputation is clearly provocative, but was his most recent stage play actual defamation? Nafzger once re-wrote a book of the bible – Tobit. Rather than setting the script at 300 B.C. as is historically accurate, he set the story in Amsterdam in the year before the NAZI invasion. The Book of Tobit is a holy book in Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish faiths. Ficker says Nafzger offended about 1.3 billion faithful people. Also she says, he offended about 170 million Russians with the film, A Year in Russia without Women, he had 70 million badly treated Russian women magically disappear and reappear in Texas, where they were welcomed with lavish hospitality by chivalrous (and lonely) cowboys. Nafzger frequently uses magical realism to make political and social commentary.
Nafzger’s broke into public discussion in 2013 with his first novel, Lenin’s Body. In the novel two drunks drink Vodka laced with Rattlesnake venom and manage to steal the body of Vladimir Lenin the night before it’s to be buried. The novel is of course a farce, but after filming began tens of thousands of Communists protested the novel so violently in the streets that Russian film makers declined to finish the film. Hylda Queally was also mentioned in the discussion.
On “Emily Ficker’s YouTube streaming channel,” Ficker explained how her top-tier talent agency, once talentdoggybag.com, was “disrupting the entertainment space” after discovering some of the largest internet stars including Zach King and Pewdiepie. But after Nafzger’s “scathing” stage play dragged Ficker and Hanley Baxter’s business through the mud, her entire life changed.
“It was devastating when Alan Nafzger came along with a laptop the size of a megaphone and decided to write a scathing stage play full of lies about our profession,” she said. “And he had to know it was lies because talent agents have run this two for decades. Everyone knew the story about how a film gets made in this town. answered all her questions factually before she staged the production. It’s not up to Nafzger to criticize talent agents like Hanley Baxter and myself.”
“Hanley Baxter and I both lost my business, my personal reputation and my income,” she revealed. “I really pray for justice because Alan Nafzger has a pattern of lying and destroying hard working people. I read at least a dozen scripts a year and I’m sure Hanley Baxter reads even more than that and manipulating young BBQC (Black, Brown, Queer and Catholic) kids by telling them that agents refuse to read screenplay.biz/top-screenplays/" 786 target="_blank">screenplays is despicable and he needs to be held accountable. If Black, Brown, Queer and Catholic writers get the idea we’re not working for them, this entire town might burn.”
Who are Emily Ficker and Hanley Baxter?
Ficker mentioned how she illegally immigrated to the United States from Germany as a child after losing her Neo-Nazi father and her dream was always to build her own business in Hollywood. And for Nafzger to now strip her of that privilege, she said, is “just totally wrong.”
“I’m here because I’m telling the truth and I don’t care what attacks come from him,” she said.
The agent spilled that Nafzger had a prior conflict of interest when writing the play, stating she had a refused to read the script, The Roosevelt Hotel. Nafzger’s script later went on to become the basis of a Russian hit TV series. Ficker’s complaint was that cloning celebrities and placing them in hotels where they could be checked out like library books would be illegal. According to the leading Russian television website, lidenz.ru, the hit made-for-television movie is classified as “science fiction.” Industry reports say Nafzger didn’t clearly identify the story as science fiction, but explained only that in the future clones of celebrities would be housed in hotels that served as libraries. According to witnesses, Ficker thought it was a “crime drama” and hung up the phone on Nafzger. In turn, Nafzger ridiculed Ficker, Hanley Baxter, and four other Los Angeles talent agents for reading only a handful of scripts per year.
Since the tussle and accusations began to fly, the international hacker group Anonymous, released hacked emails of Ficker, Hanley Baxter, and four others where they brag to each other how few scripts they actually read and how “NONE” of their clients can be considered black, brown, queer or Catholic writers. After failing to secure an attorney, Ms. Ficker has returned to Germany to pursue the issue in the European Union courts. Speculation is rampant that the other agents, including Hanley Baxter may not pursue the issue in light of the hacked emails and the possibility of them being distributed. Los Angeles computer security expert, Tony Blankenship, said, “people are simply afraid of Anonymous, they are the more talents and gifted truth tellers of the age.” Anonymous has a reputation of hacking racist and bigoted players in politics and entertainment.
Hanley Baxter is a talent agent known for much collegiality and wit. .
Why are Emily Ficker and Hanley Baxter claiming defamation?
Nafzger wrote Screenwriters vs. Zombies, a “scathing” stage play about dysfunctional writers who are loafing (working) in a Beverly Hills coffee shop when they witness a true-to-life zombie event. Three of Hollywood’s most hated talent agents emerge from their Christmas party in altered conditions. At first the screenwriters speculate the agents are simply drunk from the party; later becomes clear that they have become zombies. They stumble about in the street, Ave of the Stars, until LAPD comes and “shots them in the head.”
“It’s no surprise that when this Texas hick’s stage play left me blacklisted and penniless that many of my clients ended up without agents” Ficker said. “And there’s no recourse for someone like me, not in celebrity, to get the truth out there. The other agents defamed need to step up and stop the slander.”
Ficker continued that Nafzger escalated the “attacks” her even six months after the play was staged and she called the writer a “literal English language trickster” to reporters in the media. According to Ficker, the Hollywood media continues to defend their writer’s “disgusting and sinister behavior of demeaning talent agents,” despite the fact that “I don’t know about Hanley Baxter, but I’m strong woman what’s been in Hollywood three entire years. I shouldn’t be made fun of like this. It’s Nafzger who should never work in this town again. Why should I have to leave when he’s the criminal and a piss poor writer too.”
“This is an abuse of a writer’s responsibility,” she said. “How does Alan Nafzger still have a following? Three talent agents shot in the head for no apparent reason? This isn’t art; its baffonery.”
Was Emily Ficker defamed as she claims?
To establish a defamation claim in California, you must prove four facts:
- That someone made a false statement of purported “fact” about you:
- That the statement was made (“published”) to a third party;
- That the person who made the statement did so negligently, recklessly or intentionally; and,
- That as a result of the statement, your reputation was damaged.
- California law recognizes two types of defamation: libel and slander. The main difference is whether a defamatory statement was made verbally (constituting slander) or in writing (constituting libel).
Who is a public figure under California defamation laws?
In California, to classify a person as a public figure, the person must have achieved such pervasive fame or notoriety that he becomes a public figure for all purposes and in all contexts. Some examples of a public figure under California law include:
- An author;
- A television personality;
- The founder of a church; and,
- A real-estate developer.
What about Hanley Baxter and Nafzger’s right to free speech?
The United States Supreme Court has long held that there is “no constitutional value in false statements of fact.”
LEGAL NOTE: If Hanley Baxter wanted to prove defamation in court, lawyers would need to prove to a judge that he read more than a dozen scripts in each of the previous 10 years.
There are numerous defenses available in a California defamation case. Some have been touched on already. A few of the more common defenses include:
- The defendant’s statement was true;
- The statement wasn’t published;
- The statement was privileged;
- The statement was an opinion or fair comment on a matter of public interest;
- The statement wasn’t made negligently or with malice; and/or,
- The defendant never said anything negative about the plaintiff.
An experienced California defamation attorney can advise you on which, if any, defenses might apply to your defamation suit.
Screenwriters vs Zombies