Beyonce Sued For Stealing From A Visual Artist. Shouldn’t This Happen More Often?
An almost similar story had already surfaced a few months ago when Beyonce’s video for ‘Formation’ was released… Director Abteen Bagheri and producer Chris Black got upset, because scenes from their mini-documentary, ‘That B.E.A.T.’, were ripped without credit in Beyoncé’s video. The two men were finally credited as the stills, side by side, from Beyonce’s video and ‘That B.E.A.T.’, were revealing much more than a simple inspiration.
Four months later, another filmmaker is suing Beyonce, claiming the trailer for her visual album Lemonade includes striking resemblances with his short movie ‘Palinoia’. Matthew Fulks, who is a creative director at the Louisville, Kentucky news station WDRB as well as an independent film-maker, explained he was supposed to make a video for MS MR, a New York-based American duo signed to Columbia, part of the Sony group. In the process, links to his film ‘Palinoia’ were sent to various people, including senior vice-president for video production at Columbia, Bryan Younce, who has made videos for Beyonce. And this could explain the not-so-coincidental ressemblances. Here is what the lawsuit says:
‘The number of aesthetic decisions included in Plaintiff’s Palinoia Work that are parroted in Defendants’ Lemonade Trailer demonstrates that the Lemonade Trailer is substantially similar to the Palinoia Work. The misappropriated content includes both the particular elements that the Plaintiff chose to comprise the Palinoia Work and the coordination and arrangement of those particular elements.’
Matthew Fulks is also suing Sony, Columbia and film studio Parkwood Entertainment, and according to the Guardian, he ‘is seeking all profits attributed to exploitation of his work.’
Once again, the Guardian has posted a few stills of ‘Palinoia’ and Beyonce’s video, side by side, and they surely make you think twice about the Beyonce team’s alleged creativity. According to Fulks, 39 seconds of the 60-second trailer present visual similarities, but it does not stop there, as many similarities in construction of the two works, as both use audio and visual montage and a narrator reciting poetry, have also been noted.
This is not the first time this is happening, not even the second or a third time. Back in 2011, the Guardian was reporting on choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker claiming Beyoncé had borrowed her routines in the video for new single Countdown. Then, just watch this video ‘Ever is Over All’ by visual Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist…. Isn’t it exactly Beyonce’s ‘Hold Up’?? Shouldn’t Pipilotti Rist sue her too?
Beyonce has a good team, they are browsing the whole internet to find good visuals they could used and produced by talented artists almost nobody really knows. And her team has no remorse to steal everything, once the idea has been glamorized, like the yellow dress in ‘Hold Up’ or the fur coat in ‘Lemonade’. Beyonce should be sued more often.