American rapper, songwriter and actor Aaron Carter is facing mass backlash after reportedly stealing the artwork of 25-year-old Berlin-based artist Jonas Jödicke for use on a hoodie.
Skyrocketing to fame in the 1990s, Carter has since taken to promoting his own line of merchandise, one item of which featured a painting of two lions butting heads in the shape of a heart.
While Carter was unfazed about peddling the hoodie — and the artwork upon it — on Twitter, the original artist of the piece was not as enthused, calling out rapper for blatant theft of his work for use in his own clothing line.
“Hey @aaroncarter... You are using my artwork to promote your merchandise,” 25-year old Jonas Jödicke wrote in response to Carter’s post. “I have not given you permission to do so. My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!”
Hey @aaroncarter .. You are using my artwork to promote your merchandise. I have not given you permission to do so. My art is being commercially exploited by people on a daily basis. We artists have rights, too!
Iˋd really appreciate if you could retweet this so he‘ll see it. https://t.co/ktusJEo3dz
— Jonas Jödicke (@JoJoesArt) January 18, 2020
However, it doesn’t look like Carter is budging an inch after being called out by the young artist, considering his scathing and expletive-laced reply to Jödicke’s well-intentioned plea.
“You should've taken it as a compliment d**k, a fan of MINE sent this to me,” he Tweeted. “Oh, here they go again, the answer is no, this image has been made public and I'm using it to promote my clothing line. Guess I'll see you in small claims court F**KERY.”
The interaction quickly went viral across Twitter, with users across the platform speaking out in favor of Jödicke’s rights to his own work — as well as dunking on Carter, in the process.
“Apparently we can all steal Aaron Carter’s music and he’ll think it’s a compliment,” Roosterteeth’s Gavin Free said of the situation.
Apparently we can all steal Aaron Carter’s music and he’ll think it’s a compliment. https://t.co/CdWDyaD1bs
— Gavin Free (@GavinFree) January 18, 2020
“Ain’t nobody paying $100 for these ugly a** hoodies bro,” writer and director Josh King chimed in. “Only a meth head would want to look & dress like Aaron Carter these days.”
— Josh King (@JoshKing65) January 18, 2020
Aaron Carter cordially invites you to use his “music” in all of your commercial enterprise and not pay him any royalties. Because it’s public. And it’s a compliment. https://t.co/Wq7XzNk8aa
— AntipodesAnnieAtHome (@lacuchinaNZ) January 18, 2020
Jödicke has since spoken out about the issue in an interview with Forbes, where he revealed the artwork, named “Brotherhood,” holds significant importance to him, as it kickstarted his artistic career.
This isn’t even the first time such theft has happened to him on a grand scale, with the artist claiming that even Madonna had photoshopped one of his pieces prior to Carter’s recent outburst.
“I didn’t pursue it any further legally, because I didn’t want the drama, but I now regret it,” he told Forbes’ Nadja Sayej. “If we artists always back down like that, things will never change.”