When Rihanna's controversial S&M video premiered earlier this month, there were many comments passed on its similarities to works by photographer David La Chapelle. In fact, much of the video seemed to pay homage to the famed fashion and fine art photographer, who first responded by tweeting "The next time you make a David LaChapelle video you should probably hire David LaChapelle". At the very least director Melina Matsoukas should have run the idea by LaChapelle before using him as inspiration, as he is now suing the R&B star for unspecified damages.
La Chapelle's people claim that "the music video is directly derived from and substantially similar to the LaChapelle works" and that it copied the "composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting" of his work." Eight specific images have been cited in this case, including Rihanna's pink latex outfit and the scene where she leads Perez Hilton around on a dog's leash.
LaChapelle has shot celebrities for publications such as Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, and previously shot Rihanna herself as part of a series of photographs for the 2007 MTV VMA Awards.
Now, let's play spot the difference...