- The Sweet Feminist called out Miley Cyrus for stealing her “Abortion is Healthcare” cake design and using it to promote her collaboration with Planned Parenthood.
- After being called out, Cyrus responded by tagging the baker in the promotional post and said she did not realize who created the original design.
- However, this move was not enough for the baker, Becca Rea-Holloway, who called the decision “willfully neglectful.”
- Her supporters now argue that Cyrus should compensate the artist for her work
The Cake Backlash
A baker whose cake design went viral on Instagram is calling Miley Cyrus “willfully neglectful” after seeing the singer use the design in a promotional photo without giving the baker any credit.
On Tuesday, Cyrus took to Instagram to promote a new collaboration with Planned Parenthood, her own nonprofit Happy Hippie Foundation, and the clothing brand, Marc Jacobs. In the photo, which has over four million likes, the singer is leaning in and licking a cake that reads “Abortion is Healthcare.”
People began commenting on Cryus’s photo, pointing out that the cake was nearly identical to a cake from the account The Sweet Feminist.
The baker behind the account, Becca Rea-Holloway, had posted a photo of her cake back in June 2018 and reposted it several times since. After seeing Cyrus’ Instagram, Rea-Holloway’s posted her own photo comparing the two cakes, calling the signer out for “direct theft.”
“It’s literally my exact handwriting, message, and concept,” she wrote in the caption. “Cake art is for everyone, but this is inexcusable.”
View this post on Instagram
@mileycyrus just announced a collaboration with @marcjacobs @plannedparenthood @happyhippiefdn using this image. It is a direct theft of my own original art work from May 2018, with no credit. It’s literally my exact handwriting, message, and concept. Swipe for comparison! Cake art is for everyone, but this is inexcusable.
Cyrus reached out to Rea-Holloway and explained that she saw the photo of her cake and “didn’t realize” it was hers. She added that she was using the design as inspiration and promised to give her credit.
Rea-Holloway is now tagged in the singer’s post, but that move wasn’t enough for the baker. She wrote back to Cyrus and said that while she appreciated the quick response, her work was still used without her consent.
“This was not an oversight,” Rea-Holloway wrote. “It was blatantly and willfully neglectful and deceitful. I would have been more than happy to work with you on a collaboration for this project, but instead my work was just copied without compensation. Someone got paid to make, style, and photograph this cake, and it wasn’t me. It’s also totally unacceptable that you deleted my comment on the post.”
Rea-Holloway added that in her attempt to receive the credit she believes she deserves, fans of Cyrus are now harassing her.
In another comment she goes on to tell Cyrus, “this is not ‘inspiration, its theft.”
At the same time, many people are coming to Rea-Holloway’s defense and supporting her standing up to Cyrus. On the baker’s post comparing the two photos, people are calling for Cyrus to compensate her.
Cyrus has not made any further comment since her reply to Rea-Holloway on Tuesday.
Other Incidents like this
Rea-Holloway is not the first artist to go head to head with a household name over stolen work. In May, artist Marius Sperlich called out Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, and G Eazy’s music video for “Wobble Up” which featured two moments that mirrored his art.
In February of 2019, Vladimir Kush, a Russian painter accused Ariana Grande of copying two of his paintings during her “God is a Woman” music video.
Kylie Jenner among other celebrities that have been repeatedly called out for stealing artists work and not giving them credit. Vlada Haggerty, a Los Angeles based makeup artist has called Jenner out twice for stealing her work, even filing a lawsuit in 2018.
See what others are saying: (Newsweek) (Business Insider) (People)
Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Radios to Pay Royalties to Artists
Sen. Padilla argued the bill is necessary to give artists the “dignity and respect they deserve.”
The American Music Fairness Act
Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the American Music Fairness Act to the Senate on Thursday, a bill that would require radio stations to pay royalties to performers and rights holders.
The bill was previously introduced to the House last year. According to a release, the United States is the only democratic country where artists are not compensated for their music’s use on AM or FM radio. While songwriters and publishers receive payment, these stations have never been required to give a slice of the pie to performers and copyright holders.
On streaming and satellite radio, however, both groups receive royalty payments.
In a statement, Padilla said it is time the country starts treating “our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we enjoy every day.”
“California’s artists have played a pivotal role in enriching and diversifying our country’s music scene,” he added. “That is why passing the American Music Fairness Act is so important.”
“From Beale Street to Music Row to the hills of East Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s songwriters have undeniably made their mark,” Blackburn echoed. “Tennessee’s creators deserve to be compensated for their work. This legislation will ensure that they receive fair payment and can keep the great hits coming.”
The American Music Fairness Act would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay royalties to music creators when their songs are played. It would also protect smaller stations that either make less than $1.5 million in annual revenue or who have a parent company that makes less than $10 million in annual revenue by letting them play unlimited music for under $500 a year.
The bill would also require other countries to pay American artists for the use of their work.
Support From Major Music Groups
The legislation is endorsed by a number of groups, including the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA, and the American Federation of Musicians.
If passed, the bill could move a lot of money into the pockets of performers. According to the Recording Academy, when American music gets international airplay, other countries collect royalties for American artists, amounting to around $200 million every year. However, they “never pay those royalties because the U.S. does not reciprocate with our own performance right.”
Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, argues that the money belongs to the artists.
“Broadcast companies profit from advertising sales because of the creative content musicians and singers record. It stands to reason that the performers who create the content deserve to be compensated just as songwriters are now,” Drescher said in a statement. “The reason it’s called the American Music Fairness Act is because the current situation is wholly unfair and it’s up to Congress to make it fair NOW!”
Last year, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bill with essentially the opposite agenda. It aims to reserve radio’s royalty-free status. The American Music Fairness Act is being viewed as a counter-response to this bill.
Kanye West Says Catalog Is Potentially Being Sold Without His Permission: “Just Like Taylor Swift”
After Swift lost the rights to her life’s work, she took on the endeavor of re-recording her first six albums.
Kanye’s Catalog Potentially Up For Grabs
Following reports that Kanye West was considering selling his catalog, the artist took to Instagram on Tuesday to claim his work is potentially being sold without his approval.
On Monday, Billboard reported that West had been “quietly and intermittently shopping his publishing catalog.”
While the outlet’s sources did not reveal what price West was aiming for, Billboard estimated that West might be looking at a $175 million valuation for his discography. Some of Billboard’s sources seemingly suggested that West and his team were specifically behind the effort to sell his work, but others claimed the “catalog was never actively shopped” and instead, West had been receiving offers from potential buyers.
Not long after, several news outlets picked the story up and reported that West was gearing up to sell his catalog. West responded by writing on his Instagram story that this was not the case.
“Not For Sale”
“Just like Taylor Swift,” he said, referencing music mogul Scooter Braun purchasing Swift’s masters with Big Machine Records without her approval. “My publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale.”
Swift referred to the sale of her masters to Braun as her “worst case scenario.” In order to regain ownership of her work, she is in the process of re-recording her first six albums, all of which she originally made under Big Machine. Two have already been released and proved to be wildly commercially successful.
According to Forbes, it is unclear which of his albums West owns the masters to, if he owns any at all. Because of this, it is unknown what kind of position he would be put in if his catalog, which is currently managed by Sony, was sold.
The status of any potential for his work to be sold became foggier later on Tuesday when West shared screenshots of a text exchange he had. He asked an unidentified person what was happening with the catalog sale, and that person responded by calling it “fake news.”
“Of course every publisher wants to pitch [their] hardest buy, smh,” the text continued.
West did not further indicate if those texts were meant to clarify that his catalog was, in fact, not up for sale, or just further distance himself from any potential acquisition.
“Squid Game” Director Defends Reality Spinoff of Hit Series Amid Backlash
“When you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry,” the Emmy-winner said.
“Squid Game” To Get Reality Treatment
Emmy Award-winning “Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk addressed the mounting backlash a reality spinoff of the popular series is facing while speaking to reporters at the Emmy Awards on Monday night.
“Squid Game” quickly became Netflix’s most-watched series following its release last fall. In a searing examination of capitalism and class division, the South Korean drama follows people who choose to compete in schoolyard-style games with life or death stakes in hopes of winning enough money to pay their debts off.
Over the summer, Netflix announced plans to make a reality series based on the games featured in the show called “Squid Game: The Challenge.” Just like in “Squid Game,” 456 contestants will compete for a prize of $4.56 million. Though in this case, losers will not be executed. Netflix is billing the program as “the biggest reality competition ever.”
The announcement of the show was met with swift backlash from those who felt a reality adaptation of these games missed the point of the original series. Some even argued it felt dystopian to have real people participate in a cash-grab game based on media meant to highlight the tragedies surrounding poverty and desperation.
Hwang Responds to Criticism
While speaking in the Emmy’s press room following a successful night for the breakout series, Hwang said he understood where some of the criticisms were coming from but defended the reality series.
“I think that even though our show does carry quite a heavy message — and I know that there are some concerns of taking that message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize,” he said via Variety. “However, I feel like when you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry. It doesn’t really set a great precedent.”
“I would say that reproductions of such efforts are going to bring new meaning to the industry, and I hope that this is going to be a great new direction for the industry overall,” the director continued.
“Squid Game” won six Emmy awards including Hwang’s trophy for Outstanding Directing For a Drama Series and Lee Jung-jae’s victory for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series.
No release date for “Squid Game: The Challenge” has been released yet, but it is set to film in the United Kingdom.