Tattoo Lawsuit Threatens ‘Hangover’ Sequel
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. ---“Irked Over Ink” – A Missouri tattoo artist has filed a federal lawsuit to block the U.S. release of “The Hangover: Part II” because the tattoo worn by one of the characters resembles his copyright work.
Tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill filed suit against Warner Brothers Entertainment this week claiming the face ink worn by actor Ed Helms in the Hangover sequel matches the tattoo design he created for former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson.
According to Whitmill’s lawsuit, he placed the original tattoo on Tyson’s face in 2003 while working for Paradox-Studios in Las Vegas and owns the copyrights to the ink.
Whitmill also claims Tyson signed a release the day Whitmill put the tattoo on him which states,
“That all artwork, sketches and drawings related to [his] tattoo and any photographs of [his] tattoo are the property of Paradox-Studio of Dermagraphics.”
Whitmill’s attorneys are claiming that the use of the tattoo in the film, and any promotional material is copyright infringement. This may include any photos of Mike Tyson since the tattoo is on his face.
In the film, the character played by Ed Helms wakes up in a bathtub after a heavy night of drinking with a hangover, and a new tattoo---on his face that looks a lot like Mike Tyson’s tattoo.
Whitmill asked a federal judge to issue an injunction blocking the Memorial Day release of the film.
Whitmill is claiming an undisclosed amount for damages, rewards for profits and attorney’s fees, according to the lawsuit.
The Hollywood Reporter noted Tyson appeared in the first "Hangover" film, which could make it tougher for the studio to call the similarities a coincidence.