Filmmaker Matthew Fulks has sued Beyoncé, Sony, Columbia and the pop star’s Parkwood Entertainment for allegedly lifting elements of his short film, Palinoia, for Lemonade, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit specifically targets the trailer for the HBO special. Fulks claims executives and creatives involved in Lemonade were aware of his work and had access to Palinoia.
Fulks said he was previously contacted about directing a video for the Columbia-signed group MS MR and his clips — including Palinoia — were sent to various people at the label, including frequent Beyoncé director, Bryan Younce. Fulks further claims that in July 2015, Younce invited him to submit a video treatment to Columbia for consideration. Filming for Lemonade began five months later.
“The misappropriated content includes both the particular elements that the Plaintiff chose to comprise the Palinoia Work and the coordination and arrangement of those particular elements,” the suit reads.
The complaint includes nine side-by-side comparisons between Palinoia and the Lemonade trailer, which amount to 39 seconds of the 60-second clip. Among the similarities listed are “red persons with eyes obscured,” which can be seen below, and, “graffiti and persons with head down,” the image above that serves as Lemonade‘s album cover and the film’s opening shot.
Fulks is seeking damages, as well as all profits that can be attributed to the exploitation of Palinoia, including profits from the sale of Lemonade in all media formats. Palinoia and the Lemonade trailer are available to watch below as well.
By Jon Blistein