*Recently writer/author Kevin Powell let it be known that he had filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the creative team behind the troubled Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez On Me.”
Now, Powell is putting some words behind his legal action by speaking out about the film that’s not exactly getting rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Essentially Powell claims that the movie lifted words from his interviews with Tupac from the early 1990s when he was writing for VIBE without permission or compensation.
Originally, Powell released a statement via Facebook and directed all questions to his lawyers. But he decided to publicly speak on the issue for what he says will be the first and last time.
In an interview with writer Olivia Jordan, Powell not only calls “All Eyez On Me” a bad film, but says it is disrespectful to “Pac’s legacy,” his mother Afeni and their family as well.
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Here are some excerpts (compiled by theJasmineBrand) …
On being a writer and activist for the hip-hop community:
I’ve actually been a writer and an activist for 30 longs years, since I was a teenager and a college student at Rutgers University. My awakening came during the anti-apartheid era on college campuses in the 1980s, and because of Jesse Jackson’s run for President. Those things, and reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X as an 18-year-old, and learning Black history, learning American history holistically, changed my life forever.”
Working as a senior writer at Vibe magazine and curating the very first exhibit on the history of hip-hop for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were just extensions of my life and work as a writer, activist, and hip-hop head.
On the relationship between Kevin Powell and Afeni Shakur:
Afeni Shakur and I talked on various occasions through the years, very openly, very honestly, about her, about Tupac, about what I meant to her and Tupac, to her family. I have always had a relationship with Tupac’s family, his late mother Afeni, and his sister Sekyiwa. In fact, Afeni paid me as a consultant on the very first Tupac film she was involved in, the MTV documentary movie RESURRECTION that was nominated for an Oscar in the early 2000s. She said she respected how I had covered her son’s life, that they were using images from some of my Vibe articles in RESURRECTION, and that it was the right thing to make sure I was compensated and credited properly.
On why he is pursuing a lawsuit:
Just two days before the film opened, finally, when I got to see All Eyes On Me, I was so upset that I literally walked forty New York City blocks from Midtown Manhattan down to SOHO, to clear my head of what I was feeling. I have seen the film twice, first alone, the second time with my lawyers to take very detailed notes on the many places where there is copyright infringement of my work. I decided to file this lawsuit because it borrows from my work, period, without any permission whatsoever.
In case you’re wondering, Powell is suing for compensation for use of his work and has asked that the film be pulled from theaters.