The 90s was the era that birthed all of the original telephone scammers. For a ridiculous amount of money per minute you could get sexy talk from strangers or your fortune told. Both a ploy to weasel money from demographics at each end of the money spectrum. If you were poor you needed a psychic to tell you when your lucrative good fortune was coming so you too could overpay for erotic aural pleasures.
And just like that Miss Cleo became the poster child for all your psychic needs. If you have no idea where’s she’s been, she died of colon cancer back in 2016. Turns out being full of shit can kill you. But Youree Harris, the actress who played Miss Cleo, never even owned the character. The Psychic Readers Network owns the copyright for Miss Cleo’s TV persona, and instead of gracefully letting her fade away as the face of one of the greatest con women in history, they’re back with a lawsuit. In the year 2017, they’re suing Grand Theft Auto Vice City, a game that released in 2002. I have no idea where they’ve been, but the world is currently two generations of PlayStations past their current problem.
The suit takes issue with the character Auntie Poulet, which according to the lawsuit infringes on the Psychic Readers Network’s copyright on Mis Cleo, “a widely known television informercial psychic, who PRN spent in excess of $100 million promoting.” “The Defendants’ Auntie Poulet’s similarities to Miss Cleo and her copyrighted attributes are of such a breadth and extraordinary nature that they can only be explained by copying — which is unsurprising given that Defendants hired the actress who performed as Miss Cleo to provide voiceovers, using the same accent as Miss Cleo, for the infringing videogame.”
The character in question is GTA’s Auntie Poulet, who bears some resemblance to the real life Miss Cleo and was even voiced by the same actress. I had no idea that fortune tellers fall under cultural appropriation. The psychics are upset that the video game sold well and believe having a character similar to Miss Cleo is what made the game great. Of course, it had nothing to do with free world roaming violence or other fantasies young boys love in video games. Because we all played Vice City for that hot heavy-set Aunt Jemima looking character Auntie Poulet. Definitely wank worthy. Why stop at GTA? Sue the Matrix too. The Oracle was black and could tell the future.