Kendall and Kylie Jenner have been threatened with legal action after marketing a set of tees with their images emblazoned over those of iconic musicians such as Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Kiss, The Doors, and Led Zeppelin.
The T-shirts were a cool US$125 with the words “Repurposed in the USA” printed on each, as a lazy disclaimer and acknowledgement that they were stealing and defacing iconic imagery.
The Notorious B.I.G.’s mother, Voletta Wallace, wasn’t happy, calling the shirts, “disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst”.
“I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this”, she wrote on Instagram. “The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me.
“I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!”
The Wallace estate has started legal action, as have The Doors, despite an apology tweeted out by both Jenner sisters, reading: “These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologise to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in anyway.
“The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry.”
Biggie’s estate was unmoved, responding with the following: “While we appreciate that the Jenners have made an apology and pulled the unlawful and unauthorized items, this matter has yet to be resolved.”
Jeff Jampol, who manages The Doors told Rolling Stone they had filed a cease-and-desist. Then he went in hard on the Jenner girls.
“This is a case of people who fashion themselves as celebrities who are famous for being well-known but don’t actually do anything trying to utilise and steal and capitalise on the legacies of those who actually did do something and created amazing art and messages,” Jampol says.
“It’s ironic, at least, and criminal, at worst, both morally, ethically and artistically.”
It will be interesting to see if any of the other acts featured will attempt to sue.