Seventeen members of the Ramapough Lenape Indian tribe have sued the creators of the film, Out of the Furnace, for $50 million, their lawyer, Lydia Cotz, told Patch Monday afternoon. In the complaint, which Cotz said was filed in federal court in Newark Monday morning, the members say that the film misrepresents them and presents members of the tribe in a false light.
“The movie Out of the Furnace directed by Scott Cooper constitutes major misrepresentations of the plaintiffs’ character, history, and beliefs,” Cotz said in a statement.
“After the movie was released they were exposed to ridicule, hatred, and shame, and as a result, suffer emotionally. The movie has no true artistic value and offends the sensibilities of any reasonable person.”
Six of the 17 plaintiffs are listed as living in Mahwah, and many have the last names DeGroat and VanDunk, last names of characters that appear in the film.
Neither Ramapough Chief Dwaine Perry nor any of the tribe’s sub-chiefs are part of the suit, Cotz said. The tribal members are suing Cooper, the film’s production company, Relativity Media, and other creators.
A representative from Relativity Media declined to comment, noting that the company had not yet seen the complaint.
Other members of the tribe previously held press conferences denouncing the film. Relativity has previously said the movie is not based on anyone in particular.