To say it’s been a bad couple of weeks for fashion retail giant Forever 21 would be an understatement. First there was the news that the company could potentially file for bankruptcy and now they’re being hit with a $10 million lawsuit from pop superstar Ariana Grande! Say whaaat?
Yes, it is true. Ariana Grande is reportedly suing Forever 21 for a whopping $10 million after the company used her likeness in a recent social media campaign. In an attempt to promote some of their newest items, the company hired a model who slightly resembles Ariana to wear the clothing and accessories in their new ad campaign. They went as far as to have the model dress in almost exact replicas of the outfits Ariana wears in the video for her song “7 Rings,” an even had the model strike some poses that resemble scenes from the video. Oh, also, they actually used lyrics from the same song in this advertising campaign. So, to say that they were ripping off Ariana’s video to sell their products wouldn’t exactly be a stretch…
Apparently the Thank U, Next singer is rightfully outraged. According to sources at Reuters, she is now suing Forever 21 for using her likeness and art to sell their merchandise all without her permission.
Ariana Receives Backlash
Obviously this lawsuit is a major blow for Forever 21, especially considering they’re already struggling to keep their heads above water. What’s surprising is that Ariana herself is now being hit with some blows as well! Despite being the victim and the one who filed the lawsuit, Ariana is getting major backlash on social media for the entire ordeal. Twitter users have been quick to point out that the model used in the ad campaign is African-American and it is inappropriate for Ariana to assume the model bears her likeness. It doesn’t help that Ariana has been accused of cultural appropriation in the past.
It has also come to light that Forever 21 actually did in fact try to make a deal with Ariana in order to partner with her to market their new products. However, Ariana reportedly turned the deal down because it wasn’t for enough money. As far as we’re concerned, that puts Forever 21 in an even worse place. It means Ariana had already made it clear she did not want any association with the company.
Whether or not Ariana bears any resemblance to this model, one thing is for clear: the ad campaign directly took from Ariana’s work to try to sell their products. There’s no way of knowing how this lawsuit will turn out, but we’re thinking the odds are in Ari’s favor.