David LaChapelle Sues Rihanna, Should Tim Walker Be Next?


The big story in the celebrity-meets-fashion realm today is that famed photographer David LaChapelle has gotten the green light to move forward with his court case against Rihanna, who is accused of plagiarizing his photos in her video for “S&M.” To back up his claims of copyright infringement, LaChapelle has evidence thatstoryboards for the video featured a number of his photographs, and the similarities are certainly apparent when the photos in question are compared with scenes from “S&M.” One of said references is below:

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While we obviously don’t think it’s right that Rihanna took ample “inspiration” from LaChapelle’s creations, we’re not really surprised, being that she’s done the same thing before. Ri Ri’s video for “Only Girl (In The World)” premiered months before the clip for “S&M,” and we immediately noticed that one of the video’s most stunning scenes was borrowed directly from a famous Tim Walker photo.

The singer prances around under a giant tree with lit-up dresses hanging from its branches, which is identical to an image that Walker published back in 2002. Doesn’t seem like a coincidence to us, especially since the video in question also got some attention for its similarities to a series of Ryan McGinley photographs. And, to make matters even worse, Rihanna’s video for “Rude Boy” is blatantly “inspired” by M.I.A’s 2007 clip for “Boyz.”

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Sorry Rihanna, but when it comes to this lawsuit, the evidence is certainly stacking up against you! Do you think Tim Walker should be the next artist to go after the pop star?

Top photo: The Dress Lamp Tree by Tim Walker. England, 2002.

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