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Beyoncé wins Lemonade lawsuit against indie filmmaker

Who saw this coming?

In June of this year, an independent filmmaker called Matthew Fulks filed a lawsuit against Beyoncé. According to him, the trailer for the star’s award-winning visual album Lemonade had directly lifted nine segments from his 2014 short film, Palinoia. These included – among other things – a “grass scene”, some stairs, “red persons with eyes obscured”, and the use of “side-lit ominous figures”. 

Admittedly, the evidence was pretty weak; and in July Beyoncé’s lawyers finally responded to the allegations. In a biting retort to Fulks, they disputed his claims that his work had been ripped off, slamming his short in the process. “(Palinoia is about) a white man who is distressed in the wake of a relationship,” they reportedly said. “(Lemonade is about) an African-American woman who progresses through stages of suspicion, denial, anger and, ultimately, reconciliation in her relationship.”

Sadly for Fulks, the New York authorities also seems to be in agreement. Federal judge Jed Rakoff reportedly threw out the lawsuit on Wednesday (August 31), granting the singer’s motion to dismiss the case.

Although his reasons haven’t been detailed yet, Rakoff briefly explained the decision in a short statement. “Upon full consideration of the parties' briefs and oral arguments, the Court grants defendants' motion,” he said. “A memorandum explaining the reasons for this ruling will issue in due course, at which time final judgment will be entered.”

Justice served? Watch Fulks’ Palinoia in full here and Beyoncé’s Lemonade trailer here to draw your own conclusions.