As Beyoncé blows Europe away with her “Formation” world tour, her lawyers have been hard at work.
Last month, indie film-maker Matthew Fulks filed a lawsuit claiming that the 20-time Grammy award winner had copied visual elements from his 2014 film Palinoia to make 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," states the complaint in the lawsuit. "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."
He points to specific images like "graffiti and persons with heads down," "red persons with eyes obscured," "parking garage," "black and white eyes," "the grass scene," and "side-lit ominous figures” as evidence he was ripped off.
Beyoncé’s lawyers, however, have responded saying there are little similarities between the two projects, especially when it comes to the narratives.
Lemonade, the response says, tells the story of "an African-American woman who progresses through stages of suspicion, denial, anger and, ultimately, reconciliation in her relationship," Palinoia is about a “White man who is distressed in the wake of a failed relationship."
Lemonade was recently nominated for four Emmy Awards, and Fulks’ lawsuit is demanding all profits attributed to exploitation of his work including from sales of the album.
WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.