Jay-Z, Will Smith’s ‘Fela!’ Musical Sued by Photographer
Brooklyn photog, Marilyn Nance is seeking $150,000 in compensation for an iconic photo of Fela Kuti’s nightclub in Lagos, Nigeria, which currently appears in ‘Fela!’ According to the lawsuit, the 1977 photo of Kuti’s Africa Shrine club also appears in several souvenirs including books, CDs and a music video. Nance’s lawyer, Edward Greenberg, says the show’s producers were notified of the problem last month, but have not made any swift moves to remedy the situation.
‘Fela!’ publicist Richard Kornberg responded to the lawsuit, explaining that the photo will now be removed from the show. “We tried to resolve the claim but could not, and are now in the process of replacing that image,” Kornberg said. “Unfortunately, this photographer waited two years to voice an objection to our use of this image. Had she notified us earlier, we would’ve replaced it then.”
‘Fela!’ is based on the life of legendary Nigerian musician, civil rights leader and Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. The musical took home three of the eleven Tony Awards it was nominated for in June.