|Still from The Hangover Part II|
Uh-oh. Someone’s not happy. Victor Whitmill, or the Tattoo Artist responsible for Boxer Mike Tyson’s Maori-inspired Face Art is suing Warner Bros. The New York Times has quoted that Whitmill is suing for Copyright Infringement, citing how he had “never been asked for permission for, and has never consented to, the use, reproduction or creation of a derivative work based on his original Tattoo.”.
Actor Ed Helms is seen in The Hangover Part II, out this Thursday, with a similar Tattoo to that of Tyson’s and he recently told Entertainment Weekly that Tyson was completely unaware that his Tattoo would be parodied in the Film. Helms said, “As his arrival on set was imminent, it became clear that no one had told him about the Tattoo bit, and I was actually worried he’d be mad at me and the switch would flip, But he was so cool about it. He is misunderstood. He’s like the nicest man. He couldn’t be cooler so it was a little anti-climactic.”.
There is talk of Warner Bros. possibly having the scenes with Helms sporting a Tattoo digitally edited, although this would be cutting it extremely close with less than two days to go before its release. Perhaps they’ll be able to settle out-of-Court on the matter? Or is Warner Bros. in the right in its claim that depiction of the Helms’ Tattoo is indeed “fair use” seeing that Tyson’s Tattoo is reference to a popular piece of Pop Culture? Whatever it is, it's good Publicity for all.
UPDATE: After having gone through Court, Warner Bros. has just issued the following statement: "We are very gratified by the Court’s decision which will allow the highly anticipated film, The Hangover Part II, to be released on schedule this week around the world.”. It appears Whitmill was unable from stopping the release of the Comedy as of this point. Round One: Warner Bros. - 1, Whitmill - 0.
(Photo credit: Warner Bros.)