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KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

Huntsville Residents Sue Universal Over a 1993 Film

By: Carly Kennelly
By: Carly Kennelly

You may be familiar with Ron Slater, Randall "Pink" Floyd, and David Wooderson, characters from the 1993 film "Dazed and Confused."

But, the man who says he's the real Slater, claims the three characters were based off him and his two friends.

"I had to go home and tell my mother that there is a movie out. I told her she shouldn't go see it and she still hasn't seen it. I was embarrassed," said Andy Slater.

The men are former Huntsville High School classmates of the film's director Richard Linklater and have filed a lawsuit against Universal Studios. The plaintiffs claim they have suffered embarrassment and ridicule because the movie characters were based on them.

"Dazed and Confused" centers around the drug and alcohol fueled lifestyles of the teenage characters on the last day of school in May 1976.

"It's basically a challenge to movie makers who choose to use the name and likeness of people for profit," said plaintiffs' attorney Ernest Freeman.

Slater and his friends filed the lawsuit in New Mexico because the statute of limitations had ran out in Texas. 11 years have passed since the release of the film, and the plaintiffs said they've had enough.

Slater said Linklater never asked for permission when he created the characters, which share their surnames and likenesses.

After the movie's DVD release in 2002, problems escalated.

"I took a client to a construction supply house and the guy behind the counter recognized me and wanted to give me a high five. 'Slater you're from a movie.' So I had to explain to my client what the situation was and that's an embarrassment," said Slater.

Linklaters talent agency would not comment on the pending lawsuit.


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