The Doors have sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kendall and Kylie Jenner over the pair’s controversial new line of T-shirts featuring the pair’s faces superimposed over musicians including Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G. and Ozzy Osbourne. In one shirt, Kendall Jenner’s face can be seen over the Doors’ logo.
“The Doors have recently learned that Kendall + Kylie are selling shirts using the Protected Property without the Doors’ authorization or consent,” the letter states. “Your use of the registered trademarks in commerce is likely to cause confusion, mistake or to deceive consumers into believing that the Kendall + Kylie apparel was authorized by the Doors when no such authorization was sought or provided by the Doors.”
The letter goes on to assert that use of the band’s logo is “likely to cause dilution by tarnishment of the famous mark” and “harms the reputation of the Doors.”
“In addition to trademark infringement and unfair competition, the apparel violates Jim Morrison’s post-mortem right of publicity,” the letter reads. “The superimposing of a selfie of Kendall Jenner over the iconic ‘Lion’ portrait of the late Jim Morrison is offensive and remarkable for its failure to recognize the rights of the estate of Mr. Morrison to control the use of his likeness.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Jeff Jampol, manager of the Doors and the Jim Morrison estate, excoriated the pair for their decision to sell the unauthorized clothing. “This is a case of people who fashion themselves as celebrities who are famous for being well-known but don’t actually do anything trying to utilize and steal and capitalize on the legacies of those who actually did do something and created amazing art and messages,” Jampol says. “It’s ironic, at least, and criminal, at worst, both morally, ethically and artistically.”
Jampol said the surviving members of the band had “zero contact” with the Jenners.
“They’re obviously attention-seeking missiles who crave celebrity and being well-known but don’t actually do anything,” says Jampol. “It’s the polar opposite of the artists that they’re trampling all over. It’s just spitting in the face and on top of art and message and soul and legacy.”
Per the letter, Kendall and Kylie Jenner have until Saturday, July 1st to comply with the estate’s requests that, among other things, the shirt be unavailable for sale, recalled from all distributors, wholesalers and retail outlets and a “full accounting of all proceeds received from the sale of goods” be provided.
The new line of controversial T-shirts appeared on the sisters’ online shop Wednesday, but were removed following a swift backlash. The Notorious B.I.G.’s mother, Voletta Wallace, called the shirt featuring her son “disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst” while Ozzy Osbourne’s wife, Sharon Osbourne, tweeted, “Girls, you haven’t earned the right to put your face with musical icons. Stick to what you know … lip gloss.” (Wallace’s lawyer also issued a cease-and-desist letter to the sisters.)
Other artists to have their likenesses overlaid with those of the Jenner sisters included Metallica, Pink Floyd, Kiss and Led Zeppelin. The T-shirts retailed for $125 and had the words “Repurposed in the USA” printed on each.
On Thursday afternoon, Kendall and Kylie Jenner posted identical messages to Twitter apologizing for the theft. “These designs were not well thought out and we deeply apologize to anyone that has been upset and/or offended, especially to the families of the artists. We are huge fans of their music and it was not our intention to disrespect these cultural icons in anyway [sic]. The tee shirts have been pulled from retail and all images have been removed. We will use this as an opportunity to learn from these mistakes and again, we are very sorry.”
The Doors’ Cease-and-Desist Letter to Kendall and Kylie Jenner
Notorious B.I.G.’s mom has slammed Kylie and Kendall Jenner for using the rapper’s image without permission on a T-shirt. Watch here.