The Jenner sisters are learning the hard way that running a fashion business is a hell of a lot more complicated than merely posting sexy and eminently shareable images on a personal Instagram. After the outrage over their Kendall + Kylie branded "vintage" tees which overlaid their images on iconic photos of late hip-hop superstars Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, they're being sued by the photographer Michael Miller.
Miller shot the image the Jenners used of Shakur, and on a very basic level it looks like he may have a case. As Gossip Cop reported, it's not like the images were public domain:
After [Biggie Smalls' mother] revealed [the Jenners] did not have legal permission to use the Notorious B.I.G.’s likeness, the reality stars pulled the merchandise. They said in a statement, “These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect the cultural icons in any way.” They further noted, “The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are so very sorry.”
A sincerely-intended apology is just fine, but photographer Miller—perhaps understandably—can't just let it go there.
TMZ obtained Miller's lawsuit. In it he claims he had no wish to work with the Jenners and that they didn't have permission to use or sell images created by him.
A rep for the reality stars told TMZ that suing Kendall and Kylie is ridiculous as they didn't create the shirts, only approved them. It's as if Miller was "suing an actor for being in a movie," according to the rep.
It does all sound like a series of misunderstandings and ill-conceived decisions, and the Jenners deserve some credit for addressing the controversy quickly in the first place.
We just hope Kendall doesn't try to give anyone a Pepsi just to calm things down.