Last February, Kathryn Stockett, author of the immensely popular novel-turned-movie The Help, was sued by her brother's former maid, who said that a character in the book was based on her. And the character clearly was, despite Stockett's credulity-straining denial!

No matter: the lawsuit has been dismissed by a Mississippi judge, who said it was outside the statute of limitations. Fair enough. On general principle, people should not be able to extract money from authors of fiction just because those people did not like the characters that were based upon them. Also on general principle, any white person who gets rich by writing about poor black people should break those poor people off a nice chunk of money.

Let's all be friends.

[Arts Beat. Photo: Getty]