News: Rihanna's "S&M" Gets Spanked Over Stolen Content

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2011 9:45PM

Written by Rosario Harper

Grammy-winning singer Rihanna has come under fire for her new spicy "S&M" music video with a lawsuit suing the hitmaker over the visual's content.

A lawsuit by famed photographer David LaChapelle claims RiRi stole her content from him.

Pop star Rihanna's lurid and brightly colored music video "S&M" was "directly derived" from pictures taken by prominent U.S. fashion photographer David LaChapelle, he said in a lawsuit made public on Monday. LaChapelle, who has shot celebrities for magazines such as Rolling Stone, GQ and Vanity Fair, said "the music video is directly derived from and substantially similar to the LaChapelle works." (Reuters)

More specifically, LaChapelle's suit accuses RiRi of stealing nearly ten concepts.

LaChappelle said Rihanna has appropriated eight of his images into the video, including one where she is shown in profile against a blue background with a sweet on her tongue. The case states that Rihanna's video copied the "composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colours, props, settings, decors wardrobe and lighting" of his work. (BBC News)

Earlier this month, comparisons of LaChapelle's work and RiRi's video developed.

The alleged racy and plagiarized scenes begin with Rihanna walking her 'dog' Perez Hilton. The Barbadian pop artist is dressed in late and has the gossip blogger on a leash. However, in 2002 David LaChapelle took a picture for Vogue, representing a woman who is dressed in the same way as Rihanna, who also walks her leashed 'dog' who is actually a man. In another scene Rihanna is a pink striped room with other girls. She is wearing a big red afro wig and they are all dancing on furniture. In a photo titled 'Striped Face,' LaChapelle represents several girls in a pink striped room, wearing big red afro wigs while dancing on furniture. Does it ring a bell? (Suite 101)

"S&M" director Melina Matsoukas recently discussed the video's content.

"When I go out to make something, I kind of go out with the intention to get it banned -- [well] not to get it banned, I always want my stuff played -- but to make something provocative," Matsoukas explained in an interview. "So when you do something that's provocative, that's usually a repercussion. It's gonna be talked about or banned or slandered in some way. But it's making an effect and people are having a dialogue about it, so, to me, that's successful..I mean, the song is called 'S&M'!"-- So I think that the imagery follows suit with what the song is. I wouldn't play down the imagery for a song that's so strong. It makes sense to develop it further and really take it there. So if they don't want to play it, [fans] can watch it somewhere else...The whole time we were like, 'If we use ball gags and we show this, are they gonna play it?' And we just went for it and didn't care, and people seem to be embracing that." (MTV)

Check out Rihanna's "S&M" music video down below:

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