by Francine Holmes
So after reading the NY Times article : “Artist Says Kendrick Lamar Video for ‘Black Panther’ Song Stole Her Work” I saw the onslaught of opinions on the matter, ranging from: ‘Art by nature is inspirational’ (OK!) ‘Viktor’s work is also similar to Gustav Klimt’ and my favorite, ‘Welp, she (Viktor) should have taken the studio’s offer’ (Really!? we are doing this?)
Let’s not get lost in semantics, the mere fact that she was approached proves that they wanted her work included in this project! So, after the negotiations fall through – my guess is that they were not willing to compensate her on her asking price – they go ahead and make a replica of her work with impunity? How is anyone justifying this?
It’s 2018 and black women are not here for these behaviors anymore.
So, her style, her very “unique and quite recognizable” style is used and now she is not compensated AT ALL!!!? Come on!
Ms. Viktor said, “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. And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists.” Miss Viktor is absolutely right, you can’t claim to want to empower blacks/Africans and screw them over! And now that she is complaining and speaking out against someone that is as popular as Kendrick Lamar, and the connection to a highly-favored project like “Black Panther”, the victim is now made out to be the villain as demonstrated by some of these social media responses. Some are hastily calling her salty and petty about what could potentially be considered simply using “her style” instead of actual stealing (what it is!!).
If Kendrick Lamar is not directly to be blamed for this unmitigated plagiarism, then his team or whoever should be held accountable for this outrageous infraction; by giving the woman credit for the use of her work and compensate her the original amount she requested. It’s 2018 and black women are not here for these behaviors anymore.