Stone Cold: Actress Sues Rapper For “Gratuitously” Repeating Her Name

YouTube

Actress Sharon Stone has sued rapper Chelsea Dudley, known as Chanel West Coast, for “gratuitously repeat[ing] the name ‘Sharon Stone’ thirty-three times and the name ‘Sharon’ ninety-nine times.” The song is called “Sharon Stoned.” I am deeply skeptical but I have been a longtime critic of copyright, trademark, and publicity claims over commonly used terms or names.

I am astonished at artists like Lady Gaga fighting such parodies and even more surprised that a court would go along. Yet our courts have reached similarly bizarre results in some cases. Past tort cases have generally favored celebrities and resulted in rulings like White v. Samsung, a perfectly ludicrous ruling where Vanna White successfully sued over the use of a robot with a blond wig turning cards as the appropriation of her name or likeness. The estate of Humphrey Bogart sued last year for over a couch simply named Bogart. California-retailer Plummers settled the lawsuit this week.

Famous names are part of our cultural fabric. They can even become adjectives or even genres. Rapping about “Sharon Stoned” is clearly a parody and hardly suggests an endorsement or association with the actress. et, in 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that even public displays can be protected under the right of publicity in Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co., 433 U.S. 562 (1977). The case involved Hugo Zacchini, “The Human Cannonball.” In August 1972, his 15 second flight was filmed and published by Scripps-Howard Broadcasting. Justice White wrote the opinion in favor of The Human Cannonball and analogized the common law protection to copyright and trademark rules. He did however note that a state government can shield the press from liability for broadcasting performers’ acts. Four justices dissented and Justice Powell in one of the dissenting opinions stressed “The Court’s holding that the station’s ordinary news report may give rise to substantial liability has disturbing implications, for the decision could lead to a degree of media self-censorship. . . The public is then the loser. This is hardly the kind of news reportage that the First Amendment is meant to foster.”

The video is filled with parodies from Basic Instinct and references to the actress. However, so are songs like “Betty Davis Eyes” with these lyrics:

Her hair is Harlow gold
Her lips are sweet surprise
Her hands are never cold
She’s got Bette Davis eyes
She’ll turn the music on you
You won’t have to think twice
She’s pure as New York snow
She got Bette Davis eyes

And she’ll tease you, she’ll unease you
All the better just to please you
She’s precocious, and she knows just what it
Takes to make a pro blush
She got Greta Garbo’s stand off sighs, she’s got Bette Davis eyes

She’ll let you take her home
It whets her appetite
She’ll lay you on the throne
She got Bette Davis eyes
She’ll take a tumble on you
Roll you like you were dice
Until you come out blue
She’s got Bette Davis eyes

She’ll expose you, when she snows you
Off your feet with the crumbs, she throws you
She’s ferocious and she knows just what it
Takes to make a pro blush
All the boys think she’s a spy, she’s got Bette Davis eyes

And she’ll tease you, she’ll unease you
All the better just to please you
She’s precocious, and she knows just what it
Takes to make a pro blush
All the boys think she’s a spy, she’s got Bette Davis eyes

She’ll tease you
She’ll unease you
Just to please you
She’s got Bette Davis eyes
She’ll expose you
When she snows you
She knows you, she’s got Bette Davis Eyes

That is what happens when you become a social icon.

Yet, Stone insists that the “mantra-like repetition” of her name is an example of how this artist has a “penchant for glomming onto celebrity icons.” So what? That is the point of icons. They become part of the social dialogue and references. Indeed, a young Sharon Stone once dreamed of achieving such iconic status.

Stone is suing for unfair competition and violations of her right of publicity with a demand for injunctive relief as well as both punitive damages and disgorgement of any profits.

You can read the complaint at this site: Stone Complaint

35 thoughts on “Stone Cold: Actress Sues Rapper For “Gratuitously” Repeating Her Name”

  1. there is a really annoying show on tv with an annoying hostess. the view with joy behar. they were razzing my man little don jr when he say JOY YOU WORE BLACKFACE.

    SHE DENIED IT– LIED

    BEFORE ON THE SAME SHE SHE ADMITTED, YES, SHE DRESSED UP AS AN AFRICAN WOMAN

    see below– WHY ISNT THAT BLACKFACE? HMMMM FIGURE THAT ONE OUT FOLKS

    https://www.thewrap.com/that-time-joy-behar-wore-darker-makeup-to-dress-as-a-beautiful-african-woman-in-the-70s-video/

    i never ever dressed up like a woman nor a black person. never my cup of tea. never understood that sort of thing.

    1. At some level, subconscious or not, most Democrats agree with me – that dressing up as a black person is not automatically “blackface” or racist. How could dressing up like someone you admire be racist?

      Blackface was specific to a minstrel show, which has nothing to do with what Behar did.

      The Left savages people for “blackface” and try to ruin their lives if a white person darkens their skin. They claim that white kids shouldn’t even be allowed to buy a Black Panther costume. It was used to get Megan Kelley dismissed from NBC. But without a shred of irony, they ignore Joy Behar, Dan Aykroyd, Robert Downey, Jr, and all the other celebrities and actors who have darkened their skin in the past. They do it for costumes, photo shoots, movies, and comedy. And no one bats an eye because it’s clearly not racist. Nor is it really blackface.

      This is just a desperate quest for relevancy for those who missed the civil rights era. Our country is not inherently racist. There is a segment of our population who have not accomplished anything. They yearn to be a hero, important, for some quest. So they become keyboard warriors or activists, pretending that they really are fighting against racism and fascism.

  2. she did a song about karl lagerfeld, he didn’t sue her. you had another rap chick do a song about ex pornstar mia khalifa and nobody went to court.

  3. Perhaps Sharon Stone feels it is unfair for someone else to make money using her name, without sharing a percentage of the proceeds. But her name is in the public domain. Famous people are mentioned in songs, books, movies…

    Trump is both a proper name, a noun, and a verb. Trumped out is an adjective. Rappers have made money off of Trump’s name.

    How can you work to be famous, and then complain that your name is famous? Why should anyone have to pay you for mentioning your name?

    If someone samples your song, quotes your work, or otherwise uses your intellectual property, I believe that can be copyrighted. But I do not see how referencing your name can be. That could lead to names being prohibited from being used for other children.

    1. Remember when Elizabeth Taylor sued someone for producing a biopic of her? Her contention was that her life was commercial property that only she had the right to exploit, “I am my own commodity”. Pithy.

      1. I’ll just bet actresses and actors wish they had control over biographies, documentaries, and articles written about them.

        While I admire their seeking control of monies made off of their name, they have no case. Just as people are allowed to choose what pronouns they wish to apply to others, they are allowed to speak, sing, and write about celebrities.

  4. 🎵”Barbra…Barbra…Barbra……Streisand” 🎵
    🎵”Barbra…Barbra…Barbra……Streisand” 🎵

  5. Betty Davis Eyes parody, different lyrics:

    “Betty Crocker Thighs”

    Her fudge is never old
    Her chicken satisfies
    Her recipes broke the mold
    She’s got Betty Crocker thighs
    She’ll give her coupons to you
    You won’t pay sticker price
    She’s pure as cookie dough
    She’s got Betty Crocker thighs.

    1. David Edwards – did you know that Bette Davis was the first female president of the Screen Actor’s Guild?

      1. Paul C……I’m not surprised. It has taken me a long time to appreciate her, because her acting was a little over the top for my taste…….however, I view her differently now, and “Old Acquaintance” with Miriam Hopkins, has become a film I love.
        Supposedly when she “violently” shook Hopkins during the last part of the movie, it was real…LOL….makes a great story.!

        1. Cindy Bragg – I think the best stories are how she tortured Joan Crawford during What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

            1. Cindy Bragg – if it was I didn’t see it. They hated each other and it showed in their scenes together.

  6. It’s Sharon Stone. I recall reading a magazine article about her > 25 years ago, written at a time when she hadn’t yet shuffled into middle age. She was drawing a big box office around that time. Workmen on one set offered their opinion of her by urinating in a swimming pool in which she was due to shoot a scene. These were studio employees accustomed to working around screen actresses.

  7. Constant repetition of entertainers’ names to a limbic system-torturing beat was pioneered by Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand”. Only difference is that Sharon Stone has (intentionally or not) guaranteed that Chanel West Coast will now sell more copies of her song.

  8. I think it would be personally hard to separate ‘Sharon Stone’ the icon and Sharon Stone the private person. To have your name (which is a huge part of your individual identity–particularly one that is not just a stage name) repeated, emphasized, in a song that sounds like a near-fanatical crush, and, twists your last name into a druggie reference would be disconcerting to say the least. Twisting her last name into a druggie reference would feel defamatory. I am sympathetic, but I think the rapper is referencing ‘Sharon Stone’ the sex symbol of Basic Instinct fame.

    Ladies, think carefully about the roles you choose to perform. The ramifications of your decisions may not be what you expect or want.

  9. “Barbra Streisand” by Duck Sauce did this first and worst. Sharon Stone ought to take a page from Barbra and tell herself it’s a tribute to her enduring fame.

    Sharon Stone should also take solace in the fact she hasn’t been made infamous for the widely observed effect that Streisand has of provoking people to do and say the opposite of what she does or says in political matters.

  10. Well… “believe it or not” (if I’m allowed to quote that phrase without being sued)

    I’m on Sharon Stones side

    She has worked hard and long for many years to “make a name” for herself

    And it should be her decision how she wants her name portrayed

  11. A transparent, pathetic attempt by an attention hoe to stay relevant. What’s next for “bloom off the rose” Sharon? A profane Trump rant a’ la Raging Bullshart DeNiro? Most be awful when your face is your fortune and the account is droopy.

    1. See recent pictures of her. She’s had a great deal of work done. Fortunately for her, she’s got a better plastic surgeon than Loretta Swit has. Or the technique has been improving, benefiting people in the 1958 cohort vis a vis the 1937 cohort. Or, perhaps Loretta Swit is what you get when you try that in your 8th decade rather than your 6th decade.

      Now here’s Jan Smithers, who retired from acting 30 years ago and is about 10 years older than Stone and 10 years younger than Swit. Her dignity is intact.

      https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&biw=1111&bih=640&tbm=isch&sxsrf=ACYBGNSRcSkUdFsZglcmZITE4RhIAkFwww%3A1573143199692&sa=1&ei=n0LEXbjcKYPt_QaznruICA&q=jan+smithers&oq=jan+smithers&gs_l=img.3..35i39j0l9.141203.143809..144188…0.0..1.325.1069.11j3-1……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….0i67.vizlspfIJ2U&ved=0ahUKEwj4p-SMv9jlAhWDdt8KHTPPDoEQ4dUDCAY&uact=5#imgrc=w7y4zJ0i1TQyZM:

        1. No, she looks like a 70 year old woman who knows (in a rough way) how to dress and has the sense to not pay money to hairdressers and opticians whose wares make a woman look worse than she would if she did nothing.

          1. I’ll just toss this out there.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gf5d9i_aMw

            the ugly wife is a treasure at home

            the arrogance and superficiality of the average American woman is hard to understate.
            as a group they very well may be the worst spoiled brats in history

            American women reading this, if this does not apply to you, then it doesn’t
            if it does then wear the shoe like the other 40 pairs cluttering your walk in closet.

        2. Plastic surgery is super common out here in CA, starting in high school for the upper middle to upper class folks.

          I remember when my high school friend got her nose job, and then her boob job. And then my other friend had her boobs done too. Glad my parents said No to my request to follow the trend of my girlfriends. I am very thankful now.

          But these are minors and parents sign off on it, think Kylie Jenner and Kendall Jenner. Some think Kendall is all natural, she is not, eye lid lift surgery, very common in parts of Asian.. No one is Hollywood is natural.

      1. Before enigma sics the PC police on me….this scene is from the film “Hollywood Shuffle”, one of the best satires ever filmed about the overt Blacksploitation in Hollywood.

  12. At least he isn’t showing her crossing her legs pantiless 60 times. It would legalize porn in all 50 states and most of the world.

Leave a Reply to David Edwards Cancel reply