Cardi B faces a potentially serious copyright infringement lawsuit — over a Marge Simpson Halloween costume.
Cardi B’s Halloween costume this year has generated some unexpected controversy. The rapper posted on Instagram a photo of her dressed as Marge Simpson wearing a Thierry Mugler dress — which Italian artist aleXsandro Palombo claims is lifted from a piece of artwork he designed in 2013. Palombo also says that Cardi B and her team shared his artwork on social media without credit. Now Palombo is threatening to take legal action against the rapper for copyright infringement.
According to Palombo, the look Cardi B sported and the image she was inspired by comes from “Marge Simpson Style Icon,” an artwork series he created in 2013. The series shows the Simpsons matriarch wearing several outfits from popular culture in some compromising positions.
On October 31, Cardi B shared an image of herself painted yellow with Marge Simpson’s iconic tower of blue hair, dressed in a Mugler dress from 1995. The second image shows a cartoon version of the same image, which Palombo says is his original design. Photographer Jora Frantzis and artist director Kollin Carter also shared the pictures on their Instagram accounts.
“Cardi B and her collaborators have used my artwork without any authorization, 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 characterized my works,” says Palombo in a statement sent to Newsweek.
“Dear Mrs. Cardi B, based on your reasoning, shall everyone illegally download your music?” Palombo further posits.
Palombo’s lawyer, Claudio Volpi of Barberi & Volpi, said he is taking legal action against Cardi B and her “closest collaborators” for the unauthorized use of Palombo’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,” said Volpi in an official statement.
Palombo’s artwork of Marge Simpson wearing iconic pop culture clothing first debuted in Vogue in 2013, featuring outfits like Gerri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress, Kate Moss’ Playboy pose, Madonna’s Jean Paul Gaultier bustier, and the 1995 Thierry Mugler dress.