The courtrooms are full of hip-hop’s elite these days. Next up is T.I. and Tiny.
The couple is preparing to go to trial in the intellectual property suit versus toymaker MGA Entertainment on behalf of the former girl rap group OMG Girlz. The lawsuit claims the toy company ripped off the likeness of the girl group for their L.O.L Surprise dolls after accusations made by T.I.’s stepdaughter, Zonnique Pullins, in April 2022.
Zonnique made an Instagram post in April, polling her followers and asking if the dolls resembled her likeness. Most of those who commented sided with Pullins.
The suit reportedly weighs heavily on “cultural misappropriation and racism issues being considered in litigation, among other pre-trial issues,” The Shade Room reports.
The OMG Girlz group rose to fame in 2011 after being signed to Tameka “Tiny” Cottle Harris’ Pretty Hustle record label in 2009. Their colorful hair and eccentric clothing choices made them a popular act among young teen girls, with their looks constantly being recreated.
The same looks can also be seen, almost identically, on the L.O.L. O.M.G Dolls seasons 1-3 and dance dance dance collections. MGA Entertainment’s dance dance dance L.O.L Surprise doll collection also featured a main character called “Major Lady,” with physical looks similar to Harris. While several dolls are in the collection, the trial will only have 31 dolls featured. A lawyer for the toy giant says there will be mini-trials so each doll can be explored fully.
This isn’t the first time MGA Entertainment has been accused of copying the likeness of Black women. Influencer Amina Mucciolo accused the company of copying her image back in June 2020. In response, the company’s CEO, Isaac Larian, referred to Mucciolo as a “disgrace to Black people and the BLM cause.”
Regardless of the trial and backlash, the dolls have been a hit since their release in 2016.