Beyoncé has been accused by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama of drawing strong inspiration from his works without seeking permission. However, this isn’t the first time Queen Bee has faced allegations of appropriating others’ creativity.
Experimental choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker accused the American artist of “plagiarism” and “theft” after the release of Beyoncé’s music video for ‘Countdown,’ which directly incorporated choreography from de Keersmaeker’s works ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and ‘Achterland.’
Another incident during that period (coinciding with the release of ‘4’) involved the alleged “theft” from Lorella Cuccarini for her performance at the Billboard Music Awards. Only after being exposed did Beyoncé offer the explanation: “My makeup artist showed me this performance by Lorella Cuccarini, and it inspired me a lot.” These are just a few examples of the many instances of direct – or at least bold – inspirations for which Beyoncé has been known throughout her career.
The latest in a series of accusations comes from Hajime Sorayama, who posted his works and some of Beyoncé’s stage outfits from this year’s Renaissance Tour on his Instagram profile: “You should have asked me ‘officially’; I would have certainly done a better job, like I did for my friend The Weeknd.” Sorayama and his robotic figures were also featured in The Weeknd’s latest tour.
Beyoncé has not yet responded to the accusations, but the similarities are quite striking. However, fans of the American artist point out that Sorayama’s own works are reminiscent of ‘Metropolis,’ the iconic 1927 film by Fritz Lang. Furthermore, Queen Bee’s outfit is said to be a tribute – this time acknowledged – to Thierry Mugler, the fashion designer and founder of the eponymous fashion house who passed away in January 2022. Mugler’s work, in turn, was directly inspired by ‘Metropolis.'”