Music

The Director Of FKA Twigs’ Video For ‘Cellophane’ Responds To Claims That Lil Nas X Ripped Them Off

Lil Nas X has pretty much had the entertainment world in the palm of his hands since he released his video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” last week. Think pieces from all over were written, but the singer is taking it all in stride, trolling his critics in response. Things worsened when he unveiled the footwear line “Satan Shoes” mere days after the song arrived, but even a lawsuit from Nike didn’t faze him.

There was one other piece of criticism: Some said the new video bore similarities to FKA Twigs’ 2019 video for “Cellophane,” namely the part where he descends to hell on a stripper pole. However, the director of FKA Twigs’ video, Andrew Thomas Huang, wasn’t so quick to accuse the “Old Town Road” singer of theft.

“I’m a fan of @LilNasX. “Old Town Road” is iconic,” Huang wrote over Twitter. “Sharing collaborators is common. Seeing the ‘Cellophane’ choreographer collab with Lil Nas X is awesome (love a Satan dance). Sharing aesthetics and paying homage is part of the creative process. Collective consciousness exists.” He added, “Images are also expensive to make. Years of work went into the creation of ‘Cellophane,’ from physical training to the emotional labor of unpacking Twigs’ life to construct images told her story of trauma and recovery. ‘Cellophane’ was a confession in the most vulnerable sense.”

Huang then discussed the work that was put into the “Cellophane” video. “Images are also expensive to make. Years of work went into the creation of ‘Cellophane,’ from physical training to the emotional labor of unpacking Twigs’ life to construct images told her story of trauma and recovery. ‘Cellophane’ was a confession in the most vulnerable sense,” he said. “When an artist is in a position of power (amplified with the help of major record labels, social media, PR, etc) and repurposes someone’s labor and ideas to serve their brand image, they cause harm by displacing the efforts of the artists who did the original leg work.”

Huang then shifted his attention to major records labels like Columbia, to which Lil Nas is signed, and asked that they do a better job of enforcing artistic integrity with their creatives. “I urge the music community, particularly major record labels like @ColumbiaRecords to respect directors, uphold artistic accountability and honor the ingenuity of artists dedicating their blood sweat and tears to imagine better futures amidst a broken industry,” he said, adding, “We can do better.”

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