David LaChapelle Suing Rihanna Over S&M Video

February 15, 2011 By:
David LaChapelle Suing Rihanna Over S&M Video

Another young pop star is accused of stealing some artist’s work. Photographer David LaChapelle is suing Rihanna over her new video “S&M”, which he says directly steals from some of his images. At least Lady Gaga got Madonna’s permission.

In the lawsuit made public on Monday, LaChapelle accuses the pop star of copying the “feel, tone, mood, theme, colours, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting" of some of his images.

Rihanna: "S&M" Music Video

I can see how one can copy tangible things like wardrobe and props, but how can he tell if the ‘feel’ and ‘mood’ are copied? Because when I look at LaChapelle’s images, I feel the mood is postmodern and sexy. But when I see Rihanna going down on a banana, the only thing I feel is, “ugh.”

There are eight images LaChapelle has photographed that he claims Rihanna has stolen. One of them includes the nude Lady Gaga photo he took of her covered in newspaper.

The video has been banned in eleven countries, and the song has been banned on Radio 1. It’s incredibly hard to watch, but not because it’s too sexy. It’s just embarrassing to see someone trying that hard to be hot. I had to force myself to sit through the whole thing. I’ve actually heard they’re forcing Guantanamo Bay detainees to watch this as a substitute for waterboarding.