Comedian Chris Rock is having a Bad Hair Day. His new movie, “Good Hair” is twisting in the wind under the accusation that he stole the idea for his movie from another movie.
While we think stealing for inspiration can be good — we are never in favor of direct, copycat, infringement upon an whole idea.
Did Chris Rock steal the idea for his movie or not?
Funnyman Chris Rock is at the center of a $5 million lawsuit from a woman alleging he stole her idea for his forthcoming documentary about African-American hairstyles.
Regina Kimbell filed a suit at Los Angeles’ District Court this week claiming the inspiration behind Rock’s Good Hair film came from a documentary she made in 2005, which she showed the comic on the set of his TV series Everyone Hates Chris in 2007.
Kimbell alleges Rock ripped off her ideas from My Nappy Roots, which features celebrities who discuss different hairdos. Rock’s documentary, which premieres in the U.S. this Friday, also features famous names talking about the topic.
Later, a court ruled against Kimbell, in an opinion we find more confusing and condescending than convincing:
Chris Rock is getting the last laugh in his legal battle with Regina Kimbell who tried to block the release of the comedian’s movie Good Hair and alleged he stole the premise for it from her 2006 documentary.
“After reviewing these films, I am even more convinced not to grant the preliminary (injunction),” U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer said in court. She added that the two films “don’t seem to be made for the same Audience” and “are not similar at all.”
Can money and fame buy you justice?
Is there such a thing as a coincidence?
Can two people have the same idea at the same time?
The worst part about all of this is that Entertainment Weekly presents a great review of the film and then has as a footnote the fact that he is being sued for it. It seems pretty clear that he took the idea from her film.
It seems entirely clear the idea for his movie was born from the other movie and not a question from one of his kids about her hair — the judge’s ruling appears to have no real understanding of how movies are thought up, created, and put in process, Gordon.
There is no “copyright” or something? How come the judge let it release then?
Yes, there is a Copyright, Katha. The judge felt the intention of the movies were different. I believe the first focused on “Black Hair Throughout History” while Rock’s focuses more on dealing with changing the hair in the modern world. I do think it is clear, however, that without Rock viewing her documentary, he would not have made his and accepting that connection is powerful and important to divine ownership of the ideas.