An Artist Alleges Kendrick Lamar's "All The Stars" Video Used Her Work Without Permission

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
An artist claims that scenes from Kendrick Lamar and SZA's music video for "All The Stars" have copied her artwork without permission.
According to The New York Times, artist Lina Iris Viktor claimed that the new music video, which is pegged to the highly-anticipated superhero film Black Panther, stole elements from her artwork despite Viktor declining collaboration with the studios behind the upcoming movie.
Per the report, Viktor's lawyer Christopher Robinson had contacted Anthony Tiffith at Top Dawg Entertainment and claimed Viktor's piece "Constellations," which features a woman sitting in front of a gold and black background, was the influence for scenes within "All The Stars."
Advertisement
The resemblance is, admittedly, striking. The specific images start at the 2:58 mark in the music video.
According to The New York Times, the letter also states that Viktor had been contacted in the past by Marvel and Disney, who inquired about a collaboration with Viktor, but that the artist declined to work with the studios.
Viktor is now reportedly asking for an apology and a licensing fee.
Black Panther hit cinemas on 12th February and many are already excited about the film for portraying its Black cast as heroic figures. In an interview with The New York Times, Viktor took particular issue with this alleged hypocrisy.
"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," Viktor told The New York Times. "And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists."
Prior to the New York Times piece, fans on Twitter pointed out the similarities between the video and Viktor's artwork.
"So upon second watch of All the stars the Kendrick Lamar and SZA video I noticed a lot of things in particular work reminding me of Lina Iris Viktor," wrote one fan on Twitter on 9th February, two days before the New York Times piece was published.
Another pointed out the similarities on 6th February:
"FRIENDS, admire the beautiful theme and video from Black Phanter [sic] movie. I'm just in love of the aesthetic, with some elements from Lina Iris Viktor works. Watch this."
Advertisement
"Kendrick and SZA slewed the ting. Also is that the art of Lina Iris Viktor I see," asked a third.
Now, some fans believe Viktor deserves an apology from all those involved.
"I am not so sure I want to see Black Panther now.Exploiting women who look like me even after they decline to work with @MarvelStudios is an imperialist ish I can’t get behind," tweeted one fan. "I might or not see it but Lina Iris Viktor deserves a check and public apology. Cc @kendricklamar."
"Nah this is more than a coincidence and they literally asked her on two separate occasions which she denied both Marvel & Disney, this is wrong and Lina Iris Viktor deserves an immediate apology for starters," added another.
"Lina Iris Viktor's art theft in the "All The Stars" music video makes me so disappointed. Like, I honestly wanna return the Black Panther CD I bought and it kinda ruined the shit for me."
On Sunday, Lamar tweeted about how much he loved working on Black Panther, a film which he produced the soundtrack for.
"Black Panther. Respect to all the artist/producers that allowed me to execute a sound for the soundtrack. The concept of producing and composing a project other than my own has always been ideal. I appreciate the experience love ones. Continue to be great."
Refinery29 has reached out to reps for Lamar for comment. We will update this post should we hear back.
Advertisement

More from Music

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Fashion
A look at the subcultures around the world that color what we wear — and why.
Watch Now
Travel
Explore the world's most most vibrant cultural and culinary centers—in 60 seconds, of course.
Watch Now
Beauty
The craziest trends, most unique treatments, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Millennial survivor-woman Lucie Fink dives headfirst into social experiments, 5 days at a time.