Grammy-winning artist Drake recently unveiled the cover art for his single “Slime You Out,” a collaboration with singer SZA. The image features a snapshot of Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry drenched in green slime, taken at the 2012 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. While the artwork grabbed attention, it’s the story behind its use that has fans and Berry talking.
Berry’s Public Response
Berry, not one to shy away from expressing her thoughts, took to her Instagram platform to address the use of her image. In a post with text reading, “Sometimes you have to be the bigger guy… even if you’re a woman!” Berry was asked about her views on Drake using the controversial picture. She didn’t hold back, stating, “Didn’t get my permission. That’s not cool, I thought better of him!” Emphasizing the core issue, she later added, “When people you admire disappoint you, you have to be the bigger person and move on!” While many fans showed support for the actress, some pointed out that the photo is licensable through Getty Images and isn’t owned by Berry. To this, she responded with conviction, emphasizing the ethical aspect of the situation: “Exactly!! It’s about principles and integrity. So happy many of you get that.”
The Debate Continues
The heart of the matter, as Berry sees it, is not about image rights but principles. Despite the freedom to license the photo, she believes Drake should have sought her approval out of respect.
The single’s lyrics also drew attention. Referencing “kid choices” in relationships, the Nickelodeon-centric artwork seems to fit the theme. However, some fans found the lyrics graphic and alluding to inappropriate acts. When one follower questioned the meaning of “slime,” Berry herself echoed the sentiment, asking, “Exactly! What does that mean?”
Recent Controversies Surrounding Drake
This isn’t the first time Drake has found himself in a cover art scandal. He faced legal action from Vogue over another cover art issue, resulting in a reported financial setback.
However, in a notable departure from his previous artwork choices, the cover for Drake’s upcoming album “For All the Dogs” showcases a drawing by his son, Adonis. The artwork portrays a dog with red eyes against a dark backdrop. Drake proudly captioned his Instagram post, “FOR ALL THE DOGS. Cover by Adonis.”
The Delicate Balance of Image Rights in the Entertainment World
In the world of entertainment, image rights and permissions have always been a point of contention. As visual elements play a paramount role in promoting music, movies, and other forms of media, the importance of proper licensing and permissions cannot be understated.
Understanding Image Licensing
At its core, image licensing allows individuals or entities to use photographs in specific ways while ensuring that photographers and subjects retain their rights. Services like Getty Images provide platforms where these photographs can be licensed for various uses, ensuring legal compliance and fair compensation for photographers.
The Ethical Side of Licensing
While the legal framework provides a basis for image use, the ethical considerations are equally important. Just because a photograph is available for licensing doesn’t mean its use won’t offend or upset the subject, especially when used out of context or in a potentially damaging light. Respecting subjects’ wishes, even if not legally mandated, is an essential part of ethical image use.
Drake’s forthcoming LP, “For All the Dogs,” is slated for release on streaming platforms on Sept. 22. This album follows a series of successful releases: “Her Loss” in collaboration with 21 Savage in 2022, “Honestly, Nevermind” that same year, and the acclaimed “Certified Lover Boy” in 2021. While fans eagerly await Drake’s new tunes, the discourse around the “Slime You Out” cover art serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding artists’ choices and the boundaries of creative freedom.
For more information on image licensing and the ethics surrounding its use in the entertainment industry, you can explore this comprehensive guide on image rights and permissions.
Featured Img Src: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons