The Hollywood Reporter has a bit of interesting news today concerning the impending release of “The Hangover 2”. According to the article, Mike Tyson’s tattoo artist, S. Victor Whitmill, is suing Warner Brothers over the use of the tattoo and also wants an injunction to stop the release of the film over the tattoo used on Ed Helms’ character.
The award-winning tattoo artist calls Tyson’s tattoo “one of the most distinctive tattoos in the nation.” The suit further argues the point: “When Mr. Whitmill created the Original Tattoo, Mr. Tyson agreed that Mr. Whitmill would own the artwork and, thus, copyright the Original Tattoo. Warner Bros Entertainment, Inc.–without attempting to contact Mr. Whitmill, obtain his permission, or credit his creation–has copied Mr. Whitmill’s Original Tattoo and placed it on the face of another actor…This unauthorized exploitation of the Original Tattoo constitutes copyright infringement.”
It’s going to be a tough case for Warner Bros. to get out of, seeing as how the tattoo placed on Ed Helms’ face is, for all intents and purposes, an exact replica of Tyson’s tattoo. And, as the article points out, the tattoo was probably used in the film as a callback to Tyson’s role in the original “Hangover”, which shows the studio had knowledge of what kind of tattoo they were creating on Helms’ face.
What do you think about this lawsuit? Do you think Whitmill will win and prevent the film from being released?