Kendall Jenner has found herself in hot water yet again, this time with sister Kylie in tow, after the sisters launched a misjudged collection of T-shirts featuring their images superimposed over iconic band photos.
The photographer behind at least two of the photos is none too happy and is suing the pair for allegedly “misappropriating and wrongfully exploiting” his artistry without his permission. Mike Miller, who works for TMZ, is seeking at least $150,0000 (£115,000) in damages per photo.
The “Rock vs. Rap” series, released by their Kendall + Kylie clothing brand, saw their faces, Instagram photos and initials layered onto pictures of Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G, among others. Each T-shirt costs $125 (£95).
It wasn’t long before the backlash hit. Sharon Osbourne, manager and wife of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, tweeted that the Jenners “haven’t earned the right to put their faces with musical icons” and should “stick to what they know…lip gloss”, while others described the idea as “trash”.
The Notorious B.I.G’s mother, Voletta Wallace, issued a statement through Instagram, calling out the girls for “disrespecting” the family. “I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of Tupac and my son Christopher to sell a T-shirt,” she wrote. “This is disrespectful, disgusting and exploitation at its worst.”
I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this. 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!!!
Jeff Jampol, manager of The Doors and the Jim Morrison estate, issued a cease-and-desist letter and told Rolling Stone that the T-shirts were “ironic at least and criminal at worst, both morally, ethically and artistically”,
The line has since been pulled, with Kylie posting a public apology on Twitter. “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,” she wrote.
“We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in any way. The T-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.”
— Kylie Jenner (@KylieJenner) June 29, 2017
Todd Wilson, who represents the Jenners, said in a statement made to TMZ that the siblings had no role in creating the clothes and that the lawsuit against them is “like suing an actor for being in a movie”.
It is not the first time the Jenners have had to say sorry for controversial decisions. Kendall recently starred in a heavily criticised Pepsi advert that trivialised black rights activism with its use of protest imagery.
She was also involved in promoting the supposedly glamourous Fyre Festival in the Bahamas, which quickly spiralled into something more closely resembling a disaster relief zone, and posed as the cover girl for Vogue India’s 10th-anniversary edition, despite not being Indian.
Not the best year for Instagram’s most famous family, then.