Is Rihanna’s S&M Video A Blatant Rip-Off Of David LaChapelle?
While not entirely sold on the song, we were totally digging all the bright colors and bold ensembles in Rihanna’s new music video for S&M, all of which had a super-saturated, playfully porny David LaChapelle feel to them. Which would be awesome except for the fact that David LaChapelle had nothing to do with the concept, filming, or direction of the video. Uh oh.
Radar Online was the first to cover the “blatant” similarities — but they were tipped off by a pretty immediate outcry on Twitter. And though the video was directed by Melina Matsoukas, side-by-side comparisons make a pretty compelling case.
A source within LaChapelle’s studio told Radar, “Interns told us that fans were buzzing about the video and wanting to know if David had directed it. Then the phone in the office started ringing off the hook, everyone was like ‘wow it’s amazing – it’s the exact same.’” They maintain that LaChapelle wasn’t involved in any way with the video, though his camp has yet to release an official comment.
We made a couple comparisons of our own, which you can see below and which are alone pretty damning. But when you look at Radar’s eight (unfortunately tiny-sized) examples, one can’t help but wonder: if Rihanna wanted to make a video reenacting some of LaChapelle’s most iconic images, why didn’t she just hire LaChapelle in the first place?