Did Forever 21 steal Ariana Grande’s image?

Story by CBC Kids News • 2019-09-04 13:57

Forever 21 disagrees with the accusations

“Got so much patience,” is what Ariana Grande sings in her hit song Thank U, Next.

Now, it seems her patience is running out.

Grande is suing clothing company Forever 21 and secondary brand Riley Rose for stealing her image to promote their products.

The Grammy Award-winning singer filed a lawsuit against the two companies on Sept. 2, according to court documents.

Her lawyer is asking for no less than $10 million US.

Grande’s lawyer accuses Forever 21 of publishing at least 30 Grande-themed images and videos without permission, including some involving a look-alike model.

Model with long ponytail next to Ariana Grande with long ponytail.

The “resemblance is uncanny” is how Grande’s lawyer described the comparison between Forever 21’s look-alike model and Grande herself in the court documents. (Forever 21/Facebook, 7 Rings/YouTube)

“We dispute the allegations,” said Forever 21 in a statement, meaning they disagree with the facts of the lawsuit.

The statement continued on a more positive note:

“We are huge supporters of Ariana Grande,” it said, and are hoping to “continue to work together in the future.”

Instagram post from Forever 21 shows model dressed in same head piece that Ariana Grande wore in 7 Rings video with writing: Gee thanks, just bought it.

The social media posts involved in the lawsuit are no longer available online. (Forever21/Instagram)

In early 2019, Forever 21 reached out to Grande in the hopes of setting up a social media marketing campaign with her, the court documents say.

The company didn’t offer her enough money, so she turned them down, her lawyer said.

That’s when Forever 21 and Riley Rose (a beauty company started by the daughters of the Forever 21 founder) started using her “name, image, likeness, and music,” the documents say.

“Rather than pay,” Grande’s lawyer wrote, they “simply stole it.”

Model wearing pink and purple camouflage pants next to photo of Ariana Grande from 7 Rings video wearing similar pants.

Forever 21’s use of a look-alike model began after Ariana Grande turned down the company’s offer to partner on a social media campaign, the court documents say. (Forever 21/Instagram, 7 Rings/YouTube)

The documents also suggest that Forever 21 has been dealing with financial trouble recently.

While this has not been confirmed, various media outlets are reporting that Forever 21 may be filing for bankruptcy soon.

With files from Thomson Reuters

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