Beyoncé Is Being Sued By Filmmaker Over 'Lemonade'
An integral part to Beyoncé's captivating Lemonade is, the "visual album" component, the series of short films that accompanies the musical album. Hearing the internationally known pop superstar sing "Show me your scars and I won't walk away" as she kisses husband Jay Z's hand, or hearing her chant "Freedom!" as scenes feature the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, adds so much to an already great project.
However, one filmmaker is now suing the "Formation" artist as well as Sony, Columbia and Parkwood Entertainment, claiming that her film lifted visual elements from a movie of his own, THR reports.
In his complaint Matthew Fulks argued that the singer's team were aware of his 2014 short film Palinoia prior to filming Lemonade, when he was contacted about the opportunity to direct a video for MS MR, a music group on Columbia Records (the same label that distributed Lemonade). Links to Palinoia were sent to Bryan Younce (a frequent Beyoncé collaborator); in July 2015 Younce sent Fulks an invitation to submit a video treatment for consideration by Columbia. Later that year filming began for Lemonade.
"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 complaint states. "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."
The document proceeds to cite nine visual similarities between the two projects, including "graffiti and persons with heads down"; "red persons with eyes obscured"; "parking garage"; "stairwell"; "black and white eyes"; "title card screens"; "the grass scene"; "feet on the street" and "side-lit ominous figures."
Fulks is seeking "all profits attributed to exploitation of his work," including a portion of Lemonade sales. Below is the trailer for Lemonade, as well as the Palinoia film, for comparison.