Independent filmmaker Matthew Fulks is suing Beyoncé over the trailer for her album “Lemonade,” which he claims lifts material from his short film “Palinoia.” Fulks, who also serves as creative director of news station WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky, states in his lawsuit that one of Beyoncé’s collaborators had access to “Palinoia” five months before filming began on “Lemonade” and that the similarities between the two works are too substantial to ignore.
Fulks creates ads for the station, and says that he sent a link to his short film after being contacted about possibly directing a music video for another recording artist signed to Columbia Recording. “The number of aesthetic decisions included in Plaintiff’s PALINOIA Work that are parroted in Defendants’ LEMONADE Trailer demonstrates that the LEMONADE Trailer is substantially similar to the PALINOIA Work,” his complaint reads. “The misappropriated content includes both the particular elements that the Plaintiff chose to comprise the PALINOIA Work and the coordination and arrangement of those particular elements.”
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The Hollywood Reporter has the full text of Fulks’ complaint. “Palinoia” and the “Lemonade” trailer can both be seen on YouTube, so feel free to do some amateur sleuthing by comparing and contrasting the two.