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The creative team behind the upcoming blockbuster “Black Panther,” face serious accusations after a British-Liberian artist alleged her work was used in the “All The Stars” music video without her permission. The single was released in January as the first song from the movie’s soundtrack.

According to The New York Times, artist Lina Iris Viktor declined to participate in the creative process after she was contacted on two separate to use one of her work’s titled, “Constellations.” The piece is one in a series of paintings which feature intricate patterns in 24K gold.

On Saturday Viktor’s lawyer Christopher Robinson, sent a letter to Lamar’s label head Anthony Tiffith of Top Dawg Entertainment, alleging copyright infrigement.

“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,” Viktor said in an interview with the Times. “And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists.”

At the time of publication Lamar and Tiffith declined to comment, including the music video’s director and creative team, Dave Meyers and Dave Free.

Viktor said she was made aware of the issue after numerous friends congratulated her after seeing Lamar’s video, and again after OkayAfrica featured an article noting her influence.

The Times reports Viktor was contacted in November 2016 by the assistant to Marvel set director Jay Hart, but declined after she found the terms unacceptable. Then in December 2017, public relations firm DDA reached out to Viktor’s representation at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery to again inquire about using her work. If Viktor participated she would “enter into an exclusive license for the proposed artworks, thereby forgoing all artistic control,” according to the letter from DDA, who reached out on behalf of Marvel and Disney. Viktor again refused.

Viktor’s accusations bring forth the topic of copyright infringement and cultural appropriation–two areas where Black artists have historically felt undermined.

“Cultural appropriation is something that continually happens to African-American artists,” she said to the Times. “And I want to make a stand.”

SOURCE: The New York Times


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