An Italian artist has threatened Cardi B with legal action over her Marge Simpson Halloween costume.
The ‘Bodak Yellow’ rapper – real name Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar - shared her spooky season costume in an Instagram post on 31 October.
The pictures feature the Grammy-winning artist as the iconic animated character wearing a 1995 Thierry Mugler black dress instead of her typical green dress.
The mum-of-two also included the artwork that inspired her look in her Instagram slideshow post. The artwork was created by aleXsandro Palombo in 2013 as part of his ‘Marge Simpson Style Icon’ series which was first published by Vogue UK.
The mum-of-two credited Mugler in her caption, while Palombo was not mentioned or tagged.
Palombo spoke out against the rapper and her usage of his work in an Instagram post he updated on Saturday 26 November. “Cardi B and her collaborators have used my artwork without any authorisation, debasing its original meaning and only to amplify their image with a clear commercial purpose that has nothing to do with that path of social awareness that has always characterised my works,” the artist wrote.
He also claimed he had previously written to Cardi B and her collaborators – stylist Kollin Carter and photographer Jora Frantzis - to explain why he hadn’t been contacted for authorisation to use his artwork.
He added: “We wrote to Mrs Cardi B and collaborators how come that they never contacted us for authorisation to use the artwork and didn't mentioned or credit the artist, violating Meta policy about intellectual property rights. Still no answer.”
Palombo’s lawyer Claudio Volpi doubled down on the accusations of ‘appropriation’ regarding his client’s artwork. “Cardi B has illegitimately appropriated the work of aleXsandro Palombo for mere business purposes in defiance of the most elementary rules on copyright and Instagram policies, with the consequent serious risks, both of compensation and of discredit for her public image,” Volpi told Artnet News.
The lawyer said that after contacting Frantzis, Carter and the Atlantic Records publicity team, he only received a response from Frantzis who claimed she wasn’t ‘aware there was an artist behind this image’ and would be ‘happy to add the credits’.
Volpi said a formal notice has been shared with all parties involved as well as Atlantic Records’ chairperson Craig Kallman, insisting they must share a follow-up ‘remedial’ post with due credit to the artist within seven days of receipt.
If this request is not met, Volpi said they would initiate legal action which will include a request for compensation for Palombo.
UNILAD has contacted Frantzis, Carter and representatives for Cardi B for comment.