Tupac’s “All Eyez On Me” biopic has been causing quite the stir ever since its release last week.
First, famed director John Singleton prewarned fans about how bad the movie would be before pulling out of the film’s production and then Jada Pinkett also publicly criticized her role in the film, claiming that certain things in the film never actually happened.
Now, former Vibe journalist Kevin Powell has announced that he would be slapping the A.E.O.M. biopic with a copyright infringement lawsuit after claiming it used portions of his famed VIBE interviews with Tupac without permission.
“After a great deal of thought and consultation with many, including my attorneys, I have filed a federal lawsuit against the producers and writers of ALL EYEZ ON ME, the new Tupac Shakur biopic, for copyright infringement. After viewing the movie twice in the past few days, it is clear that my exclusive Vibe cover stories on Tupac Shakur (when he was alive), were lifted, without proper credit or compensation of any kind to me, and used in ALL EYEZ ON ME. As the owner of the copyright to these articles, ALL EYEZ ON ME infringed on my rights by using content and narrative that was exclusive to my writings. I am seeking justice and a resolution in this matter that is fully fair to me and all the work I’ve done throughout the years, as an author and protector of the Tupac Shakur narrative. Any questions are to be directed to my lawyers, Keith White and Ken Montgomery, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. I have nothing further to say at this time.”
The articles that Powell are referring to were works that were written back in the 90s which apparently focused on Tupac’s involvement and affiliation with the civil rights movement as well as his influences in the gangsta rap era.
According to TMZ, the character Nigel depicted in the film was actually a fictional character that Powell used in one of those articles. He says Nigel was based on a real man named “Haitian Jack,” which proves that filmmakers copied from his work.
He also says Hill Harper’s character also resembled closely to his life seeing how he had actually interviewed Pac while in prison before as well. Powell says he has been asked mutiple times if Harper’s character was based on him, also showing that the similarities are no secret.
The suit also claims that executive producer L.T. Hutton admitted to viewing all of Tupac’s interviews for the film in an interview earlier this month.
Now Powell wants a judge to block the film from playing in theaters as well as award him with a percentage of the profits that the film has already made.
“Kevin Powell has consistently worked to cover and protect the Tupac Shakur narrative with integrity and dignity,” Powell’s lawyer said in a statement. “To that end, Kevin took creative license to protect the complex human being that was Tupac Shakur. This included fact-specific narrative changes and character creation in an effort to protect the legacy that Tupac was still building. Kevin’s exclusive and intimate access to Tupac Shakur came as a result of the trust established over the years. The narrative that Kevin developed from many intense and exclusive moments with Tupac should not have been used in any film without Kevin’s approval and consultation.”
Powell is currently working on a Tupac biography.