Rihanna Music Video Director Accused of Stealing Ideas from David LaChapelle

A big week for plagiarism allegations, apparently. First, there was our report on The Art Guys saying director Morgan Spurlock had stolen several of their ideas from a project they’d put together in the late 90s. Now the shift is a brewing controversy between a music video and a famous photographer. Found by way of ArtInfo (who were very kind to talk about our Art Guys/Spurlock story), the internet is still awash in talk that the music video for singer Rihanna, directed by Melina Matsoukas, has blatantly copied several of David LaChapelle‘s photos. Radar was one of the first to report the story, putting frames from the video next to scans of the photographer’s images for side-by-side comparisons of the sections allegedly borrowed. They also spoke to sources employed by LaChappelle who say they immediately began receiving questions about the production, despite being unaware of its existence until that point. Furthermore, though these are still anonymous sources at work, it was learned that the video’s director “had photographs from past Italian Vogue shoots by LaChapelle, ranging from 1995-2002 laying around the set of the music video shoot.” Some of the images do seem similar, though perhaps not nearly to the point of looking like outright copies. But who knows? It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a music video director has gotten in trouble for lifting concepts from other sources.