Hatfields-McCoys feud reignites -- 21st-century-style

Now the subject of a reality TV show about moonshining, the families are warring again -- this time over a trademark.

By Jonathan Berr Sep 25, 2013 9:20AM
A street sign in Matewan, W.Va. bears the names of the two families that once waged the country's most famous feud in this Appalachian region (© Bruce Schreiner/AP Photo)From the life-imitating-art department comes the story of how the historic feud between the Hatfields and McCoys became the basis of a reality TV, which in turn spawned a separate spat away from the cameras -- over a trademark.


The History Channel's "Hatfields and McCoys: White Lightning" tells the story of how the famous warring families are setting aside their differences to get into the moonshine business with the help of former Barcardi USA executive Monselle Darville.

According to Advertising Age, Darville and other investors have filed for trademark protection for "The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine" and hope to launch the brand by year's end and take it national.

Unfortunately, Nancy Justus Hatfield also wants to get into the moonshine business and is trying to trademark the brand "Hatfield & McCoy Moonshine the Drink of Devil Anse Hatfield."  Nancy Justus Hatfield's brother Mark Hatfield is featured in the History Channel reality show.

In an interview with the trade publication, Darville argues that Nancy Justus Hatfield can't use the McCoy name since her venture includes only a Hatfield. Her attorney, Greg Chiartas, denies Darville's claim and said his clients "have a McCoy," though he declined to name the individual.

"In southern West Virginia, it's not that hard to find a Hatfield or a McCoy," he told Ad Age.

It's hard to say who has the advantage in the 21st century chapter of this famous family feud.

Although the brand featured on the show filed for trademark protection first, people can use their last name on a product, unless it's already used to identify a competing product, the publication says. It looks like a judge may have to decide the winner.

Before you ask ... both sides deny that this fight is a publicity stunt concocted to boost ratings for the show.

Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr and at Berr's World.

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Sep 25, 2013 10:07AM

Remember when History Channel used to have shows and documentary's about history?

Yup those were good times, not so much anymore. Sure the occasional history related program but few and far between, mostly reality junk now.

I want the old history channel back (same for discovery, nat geo, ect)


I think its time

Sep 25, 2013 10:21AM
Please not another staged reality show.
Sep 25, 2013 10:23AM
We should take every "reality" show cast, producer, director and anyone else associated with these pieces of shite programs and drop them in the middle of texas.  Last one out wins!
Sep 25, 2013 10:41AM
another show that should not be on tv
Sep 25, 2013 11:23AM
Who watches this ''GARBAGE''? ? ?  What happened to REAL HISTORY- - are we incapable of producing ''anything'' - - - ''other than reality TV''? ? ? I WANT MY ''OLD'' HISTORY CHANNEL BACK- - - NOT THIS ''CRAP''! ! ! ! ! !
Sep 25, 2013 11:08AM

Used to love the History Channel when they did history related things. I am so sick of watching the king of shiesters, the Pawn guy, ol' Rick, and his phoney son Big Deal, or whatever his name is ... and the

old man. If I walked in, and was treated as rudely as they talk to people, the cops would be hauling me away.It would become a reality show for EMT's and cops rescuing beat up pawn shop guys.  Sorry, no longer will I watch the History Channel ever.

Sep 25, 2013 10:26AM
I'm with Alicia on this one. Who gives a happy rats a$$?
Sep 25, 2013 11:01AM
Worthless garbage. Those Amish thugs all need to be arrested too. H2 is the only decent channel now.
Sep 25, 2013 10:41AM
there like a bunch of little kids!!! its stupid
Sep 25, 2013 11:17AM
They should rename the " History" channel to the " Hysteria" channel.
Sep 25, 2013 10:50AM

What was so damn historical about two feuding back woods families anyway? You make it sound like it was something special. I believe historical events should include subjects of national interest. What was so interesting about two hillbilly families killing each other? What's the point?


The History Channel was my favorite program for years, but now, it's a joke! 

Sep 25, 2013 11:24AM
History is not taught in this country anymore . A majority of high school graduates know very little about their country's history , and that is done by design . If history is taught , the facts are distorted , lies replace facts . I'm sure this silliness between the Hatfields , and McCoys will continue to be shown on the History Channel , and embellished like all the "reality shows" . Pure stupidity !
Sep 25, 2013 11:44AM
When are they going to just create a channel called Reality TV channel? I miss the history on the History channel, TLC used to have good shows too. Now its hard finding a channel without a reality show.
Sep 25, 2013 11:08AM
....and I should care because...........?
Sep 25, 2013 11:02AM
Maybe Vince McMahon can start the HMWF. He could have a ring made out of old mattresses in the middle of a trailer park. New wrestling stars like  Bubba Hatfield and Billy Bob McCoy could emerge.   It would be more fitting and more real  than this commercial driven feud.
Sep 25, 2013 11:34AM
You realize reality TV is good for the networks because these are not actors and they can pay these contestants, or idiots, very little if anything at all.  The networks would love to brainwash all of us into wanting to watch this crap all of the time.
Sep 25, 2013 11:23AM
I think the food network should do a cooking show from WV. They could call it Hillbilly Feed Time. Share with us the delicacies of Squirrel brain gravy, Possum pie, and Groundhog stuffing. MM MM; Sounds delicious and at least it would be more legit than this show.
Sep 25, 2013 11:12AM

Wouldn't this be a Hatfield vs Darville fued??


Sep 25, 2013 10:25AM
Have fun with your "feud" folks.  Should make for some riveting television.  And kudos for going in with Bacardi as your corporate sponsor.  So edgy and hardcore!
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