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Culturally-Appropriated Dollz?

T.I. and Tiny Harris' legal battle against MGA ends in a mistrial when ideas of cultural-appropriation are added to the mix

A lawsuit issued by T.I. and Tiny Harris against MGA Entertainment over the licensing of Harris' OMG Girl toys. recently ended in a mistrial due to notions of cultural-appropriation. Harris, who originally formed the teen girl group OMG Girlz in 2009, wished to sue MGA for theft of intellectual property based on her belief of the company using the group's likeness for its own line of L,O.L. Surprise OMG Girls toys. Harris and T.I. also allege that MGA failed to secure a licensing agreement and discuss compensation following the business' plans to release a line of dolls modeled after the OMG Girlz in 2010.

In an attempt to sway the jury in their favor, T.I. and Tiny declared MGA's line of dolls to be “cultural appropriation and outright theft of the intellectual property,” and utilized images of the dolls and members of OMG Girlz to compare their likeness. The judge ruled that accusations of cultural-appropriation are "immaterial" and not conducive towards the legal matter and should not presented to the jurors; however, the jury would later hear a video-taped disposition from a former MGA employee that supported T.I. and Tiny's case, alleging that MGA steals ideas from African-Americans for profit.

In response to the accusations, MGA's legal team called for a mistrial, believing allegations brought against them to be too emotionally-charged as well as incapable of being challenged or rebutted. The judge accepted their complaint on Wednesday (Jan. 25th), and no future court-meetings have been announced.


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