*The financial services company Robinhood is catching heat from rapper/actor Ice Cube for using his likeness in an ad.
Robinhood reportedly used an image of the rapper/actor from the 2007 film “Are We Done Yet?” and also lyrics from his song “Check Yo Self” in a newsletter about stock/market corrections, according to TMZ.
Here’s more from the outlet:
Cube says that by the company inserting his image and likeness into their Snacks service, they falsely associated him with their brand … making it seem like he endorses them, which he makes more than clear here — he does NOT.
Cube goes so far as to say Robinhood is the “antithesis of everything that Ice Cube stands for” and refers to their products and services as “horrible.” He goes on to claim Robinhood has a habit of doing this … namely, linking celebs and other rappers — like Jay-Z and Nas — to endorse its products and services … but Cube makes it clear he wants no part of that.
“Defendants deliberately and shamelessly misappropriated Ice Cube’s image and likeness to promote Robinhood’s horrible products and services—and the last things in the world to which Ice Cube would ever attach his image and likeness,” the lawsuit states. “This blatant theft of Ice Cube’s image and likeness to endorse Robinhood’s dangerous products and services has resulted in substantial damage to Ice Cube.”
The complaint also mentions Robinhood’s GameStop controversy, and the company restricting trading for some investors.
“Just as Robinhood’s recent well-known conduct has resulted in Congressional investigations and numerous class action lawsuits, so too has it stolen and diminished the hard-earned image and brand of Ice Cube, one of the most prominent Black voices in America,” the lawsuit continues. “In a cynical effort to appeal to a young demographic, Robinhood has engaged celebrity endorsers such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Jared Leto to endorse its products and services. Robinhood has picked on the wrong man this time.”
Robinhood has responded to Cube’s complaint, TMZ that the image was legally obtained.
“No, we didn’t use his image without permission,” a Robinhood representative said. “The image was licensed and used for non-commercial, editorial purposes in connection with a blog article.”
A source close to Ice Cube tells TMZ … “This is Robinhood exhibiting lack of respect for the law or the people they hurt. Ice Cube did NOT license his image nor his lyrics printed next to his picture, and would never endorse Robinhood. When asked to take it down because he was offended, Robinhood refused. In addition, calling blatant propaganda for Robinhood’s trading app and online services merely ‘editorial use’ shows someone needs to send their lawyer back to school.”