A lawsuit between Mike Tyson‘s tattoo designer S. Victor Whitmill and Warner Bros.–which for weeks has threatened this Thursday’s release of The Hangover: Part 2–has many Maori people in New Zealand rather peeved. The lawsuit, filed by Whitmill against Warner, alleges that the studio illegally used Whitmill’s Maori-like design in its $80 million marketing campaign for the film–a design Whitmill claims he retains sole ownership of.
That isn’t sitting well with many Maori.
“It is astounding that a Pakeha tattooist who inscribes an African American’s flesh with what he considers to be a Maori design has the gall to claim … that design as his intellectual property,” Maori professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku told the New Zealand Herald. “The tattooist has an incredible arrogance to assume he has the intellectual right to claim the design form of an indigenous culture that is not his.”