Liberian-British Artist Says Kendrick Lamar Video for ‘Black Panther’ Song Stole Her Work

We weren’t even aware of the fact that Lina Iris Viktor, has a “Liberian” heritage; until we were tagged in this story earlier today on @Ballersalert on IG. The artist...
Left, an image from the video for “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA; right, the painting “Constellation I” by Lina Iris Viktor. Credit Left, Universal Music Group; right, Lina Iris Viktor, via Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

We weren’t even aware of the fact that Lina Iris Viktor, has a “Liberian” heritage; until we were tagged in this story earlier today on @Ballersalert on IG.

The artist recently had a phone interview with New York Times; which she accuses the team behind “Black Panther,” the film featuring the first black superhero to appear in mainstream comics, for using her work in Kendrick Lamar’s just-released music video for “All the Stars,” a song from the movie’s soundtrack; without her legal permission.

According to New York Times, on Saturday, Christopher Robinson, a lawyer for the artist Ms. Viktor, sent a letter to Mr. Lamar’s mentor and label head, Anthony Tiffith at Top Dawg Entertainment, alleging a copyright violation of the 24-karat gold, patterned artworks in her series of paintings “Constellations.” Ms. Viktor had been contacted twice by the film’s creators for permission to feature her work, the letter says, but she decided not to participate.

“The infringement of Ms. Viktor’s rights is willful and egregious,” the letter says, adding that the artist is willing “to discuss a resolution of all her claims, consisting at a minimum of a public apology for the unauthorized use and a license fee.”

In a telephone interview with NYT, 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.”

“Black Panther,” which will be released on Feb. 16 and is already shaping up to be a cultural phenomenon, is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is not clear whether the artwork also appears in the movie, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

According to NYT, Mr. Lamar, Mr. Tiffith, Disney,  The music video director Dave Meyers, who oversaw “All the Stars” along with Mr. Lamar and his creative partner Dave Free (known together as “the little homies”) have all declined to comment.

Photo: Lina Iris Viktor Photo source:

Read full story here: New York Times




Liberian stars view was founded by Ms. Augustina Kou Monpleh in 2005, LSV started in an effort to create a medium through which the Liberian entertainment industry could attain some publicity. The company focus on showcasing the Liberian entertainers in the music, films, fashion, and general entertaining industry.