Rapper T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris are suing a toymaker for using his stepdaughter’s likeness in a series of dolls, which they claim ripped off her look while working in the rap group OMG Girlz.
In April 2022, Zonnique Pullins, T.I.‘s stepdaughter, accused the doll company’s OMG Dolls of plagiarizing the aesthetic of OMG Girlz, a group she was in during her teenage years, The Shade Room‘s Nick Fenley wrote for Blavity at the time.
Now, it appears the Harris family is moving forward with a lawsuit against the company, MGA Entertainment, after recently filing federal court documents in Santa Ana, California, reporter Meghann Cuniff tweeted on Thursday.
The Harris’ will be going to trial to defend the intellectual property rights of former girl rap group OMG Girlz, Cuniff reports. The presiding judge for the case will be Senior U.S. District Judge James V. Selna.
Coming soon to the federal courthouse in Santa Ana, California: Rapper T.I. and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, are going to trial to defend the intellectual property rights of the former girl rap group OMG Girlz in a lawsuit with toymaker MGA Entertainment. pic.twitter.com/5yTN39AXHA
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) January 5, 2023
T.I’s stepdaughter was in OMG Girlz, as was Lil Wayne’s daughter.
In an Instagram post Zonnique made in April, she polled her followers on the matter, having them choose between “Hope you got paid” and “Nope, don’t see (the resemblance).”
Roughly 95 percent of respondents sided with Pullins.
The trial itself is going to be about MGA’s OMG Dolls and whether or not they infringe on OMG Girlz. The doll maker was actually the first to initiate litigation back in 2020, but now T.I. and Tiny have gone on the offensive with a counterclaim.
Cuniff reports the suit has “big cultural misappropriation and racism issues being considered in litigation, among other pre-trial issues,” she tweeted.
“There is talk about T.I.’s criminal history, and about Tiny making a t-shirt with her daughter’s mugshot,” Cuniff tweeted about the pre-trial issues being discussed with Judge Selna.
A person familiar with this case reportedly told Cuniff last night: “There are a gazillion damn dolls.”
On Friday, Cuniff reported there will be 31 dolls at issue in trial. An MGA lawyer says that means there will be 31 mini-trials, as the aesthetic origins of each doll are explored in full.
Cuniff also noted that this was the second time in three weeks that The Shade Room has been mentioned in court documents.
In this case, legal paperwork states The Shade Room has “shown strong support for finding familiarity between the OMG Girlz and the OMG Dolls.”
What do you think, Roomies? Does the Harris family have a claim against the toy company? Or is it just pure coincidence that the dolls bear such a striking resemblance to OMG Girlz?