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New Zealand Novelist Dismayed By Title Duplication

Cape Catley Ltd

1 February 2001


New Zealand writer Graeme Lay, of Devonport, disclaims any connection between his latest novel, Temptation Island, and a new American television series with the same title, which has just begun screening on TV3. The American Fox network’s latest ‘reality’ series, described by its promoters as a ‘libido-driven game show’, is set in a resort in the Caribbean and features scantily clad singles working hard to tempt couples to stray from their established partners. The show has been denounced by US television watchdogs as plumbing new depths of prurience and tastelessness.

Lay’s novel Temptation Island, published late last year by Cape Catley Ltd, is set on a fictional South Pacific island and has themes of political corruption and press freedom. Lay comments: ‘My novel is a serious work of fiction whose publication predated the screening of the TV series Temptation Island.’ He goes on to explain further:

‘I invented the title for my novel Temptation Island in the course of writing it last year. In my story the island was so-named by the first Europeans to come upon it in the 19th century, because of the sexual freedoms its indigenous inhabitants enjoyed. The island’s name was changed to Avaiiki after it became independent in 1973. The island in the novel is meant to be alluring, as many in the South Pacific actually are, and the plot does incorporate a love story, but there is nothing gratuitous or offensive about the novel. The issues it raises are topical and important.

‘I find it offensive that a trashy TV series should also use the title, and I am consulting my lawyer to see what steps can be taken to clarify any confusion which may arise in the public’s mind between my novel and this latest so-called ‘reality television’ show imported from the Fox network.’


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