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Still of Kendrick Lamar’s “All The Stars.” Photo: Screenshot from KendrickLamarVEVO.
Still of Kendrick Lamar’s “All The Stars.” Photo: Screenshot from KendrickLamarVEVO.

Artist Lina Iris Viktor and Kendrick Lamar Resolve Legal Dispute over Black Panther Video

The British Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor, who filed a lawsuit against Kendrick Lamar in February alleging that the rapper and the singer SZA used her series “Constellations” without her permission in their video for “All the Stars,” one of the first songs on the Black Panther soundtrack, has agreed to settle.

According to Viktor, representatives from Marvel Studios approached her repeatedly, asking for her consent to let them use images of her work to promote the superhero movie, which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. “All the Stars” has since been nominated for four awards, including record and song of the year, at the 2019 Grammy Awards, taking place in February.

“The Infringing Video and the Movie promotes (and profits from) themes of black and female empowerment and the end of racist and gender exploitation, themes particularly topical in the current environment,” the complaint said. “Yet, in a bitter irony, the Defendants have ignored the wishes of the Artist, herself a Black African woman, whose life’s work is founded on an examination of the political and historical preconceptions of ‘blackness,’ liberation and womanhood.”

The reference to her work can clearly be seen for about nineteen seconds at the four-minute video’s three-minute mark. Lamar walks through a group of African American women posing while adorned in intricate gold outfits in front of a backdrop of geometric and organic black and gold shapes and stylized motifs in a grid-like arrangement.

Commenting on the end to the legal dispute, Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, founder of the Seattle-based gallery Mariane Ibrahim Abdi, which represents Viktor, told the Art Newspaper: “There is a settlement in principle which the parties are finalizing. Lina is happy that it has been resolved, she can now return her focus to her art practice and her upcoming exhibitions in the future.”