Filmmaker and creative director at WDRB Matthew Fulks filed a lawsuit against Beyoncé for stealing his ideas when creating the Lemonade trailer. Fulks claims that many scenes from Lemonade were stolen from his short film, Palinoia.
“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,” states the complaint. “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.”
The lawsuit cites nine scenes from the Lemonade trailer that share similarities to his short film, in addition to both having similar audio sequences, themes, moods and settings. He also claimed that the creators of the music video were aware of his short film before filming Lemonade. Previously, Fulks directed a video for MS MR and sent sample clips, including a link to Palinoia, to Bryan Younce, who was involved in the production of Lemonade and directed many of Beyoncé’s past music videos. According to the lawsuit, in July 2015, Younce invited him to submit a video treatment, including a storyboard of Palinoia, to Columbia. Five months later, filming for Lemonade began.
Fulks is suing Beyoncé, Sony Music, Columbia Recording and Beyonce’s Parkwood Entertainment for all profits “attributed to exploitation of his work including from sales of the Lemonade album”. See the two videos and nine clip comparisons contained in the lawsuit below.