Beyoncé's "Formation" Video Takes Scenes Directly From 'That B.E.A.T.' Documentary (UPDATE)

The directors, Abteen Bagheri and Chris Black, have spoken out on Twitter.

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Complex Original

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UPDATE 2/6/16 11:03 PM: In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, Beyoncé’s rep says they got approval through the production company and credited the filmmakers accordingly. “The documentary footage was used with permission and licensed from the owner of the footage. They were given proper compensation. The footage was provided to us by the filmmaker’s production company. The filmmaker is listed in the credits for additional photography direction. We are thankful that they granted us permission.”

See below for the original story.

Director Abteen Bagheri and producer Chris Black are upset that scenes from their mini-documentary, That B.E.A.T., were ripped without credit in Beyoncé’s “Formation” video, which was directed by Melina Matsoukas.

We spoke with That B.E.A.T. producer, Chris Black, who said he was in talks last week regarding the use of footage from the documentary for Beyoncé's new video. The talks ended Sunday and nothing was finalized to his knowledge. "They sent an NDA, I saw Beyoncé's name in it. And I just never signed it. And that was it. They never said, 'Hey, we talked to this person and it's all good.' It just kind of ended there." Chris said. "They had reached out to [That B.E.A.T. director] Abteen and he told them no."

"Melina has a history of borrowing, or stealing, or however you want to describe it," he continued. "David LaChapelle, the Rihanna video ['S&M']. And David LaChapelle sued her."

Chris also responded to Matsoukas' tweet. "That's awesome that you're acknowledging this stuff. Would she have done it before I said anything? Because I checked her tweets when the video dropped, and her last tweet was days ago. The video had probably been out for an hour or two, and she didn't say anything then."

That B.E.A.T. was made in partnership with Sundance and Somesuch & Co, and presented by Nokia Music, so it's possible Matsoukas and her production company reached out to them to get approval on using footage rather than through Chris and Abteen. "I don't own the rights to it, also I never signed a contract with Nokia or Sundance," Chris said. "If in fact they did get the proper permission, why still use the footage? You had a big budget! Doesn't make sense to me." Legally, Matsoukas may be in the right, but this situation seems to hit a grey area ethically.

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