Kendrick Lamar and SZA are being sued by African artist Lina Iris Viktor after they reportedly incorporated her artworks into the music video of the hit Black Panther soundtrack “All The Stars” after she refused to grant them permission twice.
According to TMZ, the Liberian artist, known for her minimalist and mythical designs, is filing a lawsuit against the musicians after they went ahead and used her fine art titled “Constellations I,” “Constellations II,” and “Constellations III” in the music video for the soundtrack for the hit Marvel movie.
Based on the report, representatives from the Black Panther crew have reached out to her twice to get her permission to use the artworks. However, she said no on both instances – which reportedly happened in 2016 and in January 2018 — and made it clear that she didn’t want any part of it.
But Kendrick Lamar and SZA seemed to have missed the memo and went ahead and used the works of art in the music video, something Viktor dubbed as “both an egregious violation of federal law and an affront to the artist, her livelihood, her legacy and to artists everywhere.”
Based on the lawsuit documents obtained by TMZ, the video copied the “unique look and feel” of the artworks to the point of using “specific copyrightable elements” that included “stylized motifs of mythical animals, gilded geometric forms on a black background, and distinctively textured areas and patterns.”
The designs that were reportedly mimicked are currently being featured in Viktor’s galleries as shown in official social media channels.
to begin the new year as I hope to continue, I am very happy to announce that I will be presenting a new suite of works in a solo presentation for The Armory with Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in March 2018. @thearmoryshow @MARIANEIBRAHIMG pic.twitter.com/eoqOPhq2ac
— LINA IRIS VIKTOR (@LinaViktor) January 4, 2018
She also posted an update on Facebook about her lawsuit, assuring her followers that she is “seeking justice” for her legacy.
Meanwhile, “All The Stars” caught the public’s attention after it was featured in the Black Panther movie, a box office hit film from Marvel. Black Panther: The Album, which includes the soundtrack subjected to the lawsuit, has since made it to the top spot of the Billboard 200, causing CNN to call it a revolutionary compilation that can “change the music industry.”
Black Panther has proven to be a cultural revolution by promoting women empowerment and focusing on African American themes. Ironically, Lina Iris Viktor, the plaintiff of the lawsuit against Kendrick Lamar and SZA for the film’s soundtrack, is an African woman.
TMZ added that Viktor is seeking an injunction prohibiting the further use of artwork in the promotion of the soundtrack and seeks remuneration for damages.