Artist Hajime Sorayama Says Beyoncé 'Should Have Asked Me' Before Using This Look on Renaissance Tour

The renowned Japanese illustrator noticed resemblances between the singer's visuals and his own work.

Getty Images: Jun Sato / WireImage; Kevin Mazur / WireImage for Parkwood

Beyoncé is being called out for some of the visuals used on her Renaissance World Tour, which wrapped in October but has taken on a new life in cinemas.

Hajime Sorayama, a renowned Japanese illustrator, took aim at the “Alien Superstar” singer on Monday in an Instagram post pointing out similarities between her on-screen visuals and some of his own works.

Sorayama used a still from Beyoncé’s elaborate Renaissance Tour screen that shows the singer wearing a custom Thierry Mugler chrome bodysuit that references a piece from the designer's Autumn/Winter 1995-1996 collection.

Although it's widely believed that the Mugler piece was inspired by Sorayama's illustrations, the artist went on to claim that Beyoncé did not ask for permission to use.

beyoncé in custom mugler at the renaissance world tour referencing thierry mugler fall 1995 collection

— ❦ (@thesoftestaura) May 10, 2023
Twitter: @thesoftestaura

“Yo @beyonce 🤘 You should have asked me 'officially' so that I could make much better work for you as like my man @theweeknd ✊,” wrote Sorayama, referring to his past collaboration with the Canadian singer on various projects, including a massive “Sexy Robot” statue for his After Hours Til Dawn Tour.

Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé, which chronicles the singer’s journey with the stadium tour, opened in theaters on Dec. 1 and uses the alleged Sorayama-inspired visuals in its key art and posters. The timing of the accusation is curious to some, as these visuals have been seen worldwide since the tour began on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The singer has yet to respond to Sorayama, but it’s not the first time she's been criticized for allegedly using works without permission.

Beyoncé infamously removed an interpolation of Kelis’ “Milkshake” from her song “Energy” on streaming sites after the latter said she was not contacted during the song’s creation. Queen Bey, who in recent years has become more elusive in terms of interviews and public comments, made a rare statement in response to Right Said Fred, who claimed that her song “Alien Superstar” interpolated their 1991 hit “I’m Too Sexy” without their permission.

“The comments made by Right Said Fred stating that Beyoncé used ‘I’m Too Sexy’ in ‘Alien Superstar’ without permission are erroneous and incredibly disparaging. Permission was not only granted for its use, but they publicly spoke of their gratitude for being on the album,” said Beyoncé via statement at the time.

The statement continued, “For their song, there was no sound recording use, only the composition was utilized. Permission was asked of their publisher on May 11, 2022 and the publisher approved the use on June 15, 2022. They were paid for the usage in August, 2022. Furthermore, the copyright percentage of the Right Said Fred writers with respect to the use of ‘I’m Too Sexy’ is a substantial portion of the composition. Collectively the Right Said Fred writers own more than any other singular writer and have co-writer credit. This accusation is false.”

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