By Susan Johnes
Posted June 6th 2018
Kendrick Lamar and SZA released the music video for their most recent collaboration “All the Stars,” directed by Dave Meyers this year. The cinematic visual depicted Kendrick in a boat surfing atop a crowd of people, while SZA dances amongst the galaxies.
An artist identified as Lina Iris Viktor has officially taken legal action against Kendrick Lamar & SZA, suing the two TDE artists for ripping off her artwork in the “All The Stars” video.
According to TMZ, Lina Iris Viktor claims her fine art titled “Constellations I,” “Constellations II” and “Constellations III” are being used in K. Dot & SZA’s Black Panther video “All The Stars,” despite refusing its permission.
The artist claims rep for the movie contacted her twice, in 2016 and January, and asked her to lend her work to the film or create new work for it, to which she refused.
Viktor says the video tries to mimic the “unique look and feel” of her works, and also uses “specific copyrightable elements” such as “stylized motifs of mythical animals, gilded geometric forms on a black background, and distinctively textured areas and patterns.”
LINA IRIS VIKTOR ‘CONSTELLATIONS 1’
Furthermore, Viktor said the Marvel movie promotes themes of black and female empowerment, which she happens to be, but yet still ignored her wishes. Thus, she’s suing for damages, and she wants an injunction prohibiting Kendrick and SZA from using her artwork to promote the soundtrack.
In a New York Times piece, Viktor and her lawyer claimed that the artist had been contacted by Black Panther representatives on two occasions, asking for permission to feature her work in promotional materials for the film.
Viktor was unhappy with the proposed conditions and turned them down. When the “All The Stars” video was finally released on February 6, she noticed that her gold-patterned style was closely duplicated in a 19-second scene.
In the same New York Times article, Viktor’s lawyer said he sent a letter to Top Dawg CEO Anthony Tiffith and claimed that a copyright violation had taken place.
“Why would they do this?” It’s an ethical issue because what the whole film purports is that it’s about black empowerment, African excellence—that’s the whole concept of the story. And at the same time, they’re stealing from African artists.”
She added, “Cultural appropriation is something that continually happens to African-American artists, and I want to make a stand.”