Advocates for the homeless and fans of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are disturbed by a video that was screened at their recent wedding because it appears to mock the homeless.
The film, created by Los Angeles real estate agent (and Timberlake's friend) Justin Huchel, used homeless people from LA to make fun of the newlyweds' lavish ceremony. While Timberlake and Biel's extravagance was probably Huchel's original target, the video transforms LA's homeless into sad, living punchlines. One toothless man says, "Justin, Jessica. I haven't seen you all in a long time, my gift is in the mail."
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In another part of the video, a voice off camera suggests that a man go shirtless to deliver his congratulations: "Justin? Jessica? It's me, Robert."
Gawker broke the video Wednesday morning, publishing part of the eight-minute film along with a sternly-worded email from Huchel's lawyer, who threatened a lawsuit if any portion of the film was published. Given Gawker's penchant for publishing privileged communication, however, the letter only serves to provide more context for the sick gag.
Go to Gawker for the entire 20-second clip.
"Mr. Huchel made a video to be used and exhibited privately at Justin Timberlake's wedding as a private joke without Mr. Timberlake's knowledge," attorney Michael J. Saltz writes. "Mr. Huchel especially has not authorized you or Gawker Media to use or exploit any portion of his copyrighted video."
Saltz's letter claims Timberlake had no way of knowing about the video's contents before it was screened, and some on Twitter made the distinction between actions of the happy couple and their friends. (more with Tweets, another video and comments)