The controversy surrounding Rihanna’s new single “S&M” keeps escalating — first, the U.K. censors a handful of the lyrics and changes the title to “Come On”; then the song’s video gets totally banned in 11 countries; and now celebrity photographer David LaChapelle is claiming that the brightly-hued vid is copying his style and imagery from his photo shoots. And he’s suin’ mad.
LaChapelle, who has worked with Rihanna in the past on various photo shoots, wasn’t thrilled when he first saw the vid. He tweeted to both Rihanna and Perez Hilton (who appears at the end of RiRi’s leash in the vid), “The next time you make a David LaChapelle video you should probably hire David LaChapelle.” (The tweet has since been removed.)
But Twitter ranting was just the beginning. In his lawsuit, he claims that “the music video is directly derived from and substantially similar to the LaChapelle works” in regards to the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting”.
Need visual proof? Compare for yourself (image via ONTD):
Since it was Melina who directed “S&M”, not Rihanna, we think the blame lies mostly with her — you may remember that many considered RiRi’s “Rude Boy” video (also shot by Melina) to be lifting ideas and imagery from M.I.A.’s “Boyz” clip.
What do you think — was this a case of inspiration with good intentions? Or just a flat-out rip-off? We’re not sure, but some advice for Rihanna: girl, next time you work with Melina, do a little Googling first to see if someone did it first.