‘Famous’ Video: Can Nak3d Celebs Sue Kanye West?
After recently unveiling his “Famous” music video (which depicts life-like wax figures of celebrities like Taylor Swift, Ray J and Donald Trump naked in bed), Yeezy tweeted a question that is certainly on the minds of many fans right now: “Can somebody sue me?”
“What may come to mind is defamation, libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress,” intellectual property attorney Michael N. Cohen tells ET. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a lawsuit.”
Still, Cohen explains that it might be a tough case to win, saying that it draws comparisons to the 1988 United States Supreme Court case, Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, in which televangelist Jerry Falwell was targeted by the publication in a printed parody ad that ran in its November 1983 issue.
The court ruled unanimously in favor of Hustler, deciding that the parody article, titled “Jerry Falwell Talks About His First Time,” was protected speech since Falwell was a public figure and the ad was clearly fictional.
“There’s a defense that Kanye can make — a First Amendment defense of parody and free speech,” Cohen says. “He’s said himself his life is a walking art exhibit or it’s a commentary on fame, so he’s setting himself up smartly.”
The video premiered Friday night at the L.A. Forum to a sold-out crowd and streamed live on Tidal. Despite the outrageous content, there have been mostly lighthearted reactions from those involved.
Chris Brown, who is seen lying next to a figure of his ex, Rihanna, posted on Instagram, “Why I gotta have the plumber’s butt/crack showing wax figure?”
A figure of former President George W. Bush is also shown in the video, and one of his reps tells ET, “In case there’s any question, the observant person will notice that President Bush is in much better shape!”