Maybe Madonna’s ”Hollywood” video is an homage to French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin, or maybe she’s just voguing. Either way, Bourdin’s son isn’t too happy about the clip, which he says swipes at least 11 of his late father’s images without authorization. Now, Samuel Bourdin has filed a suit against the Material Mom, claiming copyright infringement and seeking unspecifed damages.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, names Madonna, record label Warner Bros., and video director Jean-Baptiste Mondino as defendants. ”Factors such as composition, background, wardrobe, lighting, narrative, camera angle, decor, and objects depicted are strikingly similar,” the lawsuit says, citing such images as Madonna with her legs spread-eagled atop a TV screen. ”There are very few scenes or sequences in the ‘Hollywood’ video that are not directly derived from the Bourdin works.”
Bourdin, who worked for French Vogue for decades, died in 1991. Madonna, who had no comment at press time, has long professed to be a fan of Bourdin’s images. ”They’re so sick and interesting,” the New Yorker quoted her as saying a decade ago. ”These girls, you have to see the look on their faces — they’re really bizarre.” And this summer, a week before the ”Hollywood” shoot, Madonna attended a Bourdin exhibit at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the show’s curator told the Dallas Morning News. The official Guy Bourdin website posts a comparison of the video images with Bourdin’s photos.