A comic book writer is alleging that The Weeknd ripped off his “Starboy” alter ego from a rap-themed comic he created, and has launched a lawsuit against the Toronto-based rapper.
As TMZ reports, comic writer Eymun Talasazan claims in his lawsuit that he created a comic book universe revolving around rap and R&B stars back in 2014, and in 2017 claims he had discussions with people representing The Weeknd about bringing “Starboy” into that universe, following the release of his Starboy album.
While that never transpired, Talasazan says that he filed a trademark on “Starboy” for use as a hero in comic books, which led to The Weeknd filing an opposition to that trademark.
In June 2018, The Weeknd debuted his Starboy comic via Marvel, which is where the lawsuit comes in.
According to Talasazan’s suit, he claims the Marvel comic features a “near identical premise” to the one that he pitched during those discussions with The Weeknd’s people a year earlier.
“This is not a case about who created or first used the term ‘Starboy’,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Kirk Schenk, tells TMZ. “This case will decide if a songwriter automatically (without filing a trademark application) obtains trademark protection for all lyrical uses of a word, even if those later uses have nothing to do with albums, song titles, music or lyrics.”
Talasazan is suing The Weeknd for trademark infringement; in addition, he’s requesting that all copies of the comic book be recalled, impounded and destroyed.
The lawsuit is unrelated to an entirely different “Starboy” lawsuit, in which a songwriter is accusing The Weeknd of ripping off his song.