LOS ANGELES — Chris Rock’s new film, “Good Hair,” is having a bad day.
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The funnyman is being sued over his new movie, a documentary which looks into the lengths members of the black community go to in order to change their hair, by a filmmaker who claims a film she made — and allegedly screened for the actor — is similar enough to Rock’s movie to be considered copyright infringement to the tune of at least $5 million.
According to the lawsuit filed by Regina Kimbell in United States District Court, Central District of California, Kimbell claims Rock’s new film is very similar to her own film, “My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage.”
In her lawsuit, Kimbell claims there are over a dozen similarities between her film and Rock’s, including their titles, which she says are opposites on the spectrum of how a person defines black hair.
She also claims both films are “socially and politically conscious”; both films were inspired by the filmmakers’ respective daughters; each film includes interviews with medical professionals — in the case of “Nappy Roots” a doctor was used while “Good Hair” used a dermatologist; both films interviewed hair care pioneers; each film looks at how India is involved in the use of weaves; both films have comedians to add “comic relief”; both have “celebrities tell their own hair stories”; both tour a “manufacturing plant where hair relaxers are maid” and more.
She also claims “Good Hair” is “clearly copied from” her own film.
In the court filing, Kimbell claims Doug Miller, now an Executive Producer of “Good Hair,” requested a screening of “My Nappy Roots” for Rock over two years ago. She alleges in her legal filing that she asked Miller to sign a non-disclosure agreement with respect to the film and she claims he said he would.
During the alleged 2007 screening, Kimbell claims Rock yelled at the screen during a segment about Indian hair, saying, “We have to go to India!”
Following the alleged screening, Miller said she learned Rock was working on a film about black hair and she felt “stunned and violated.” She also claims following the screening, Miller “refused to sign the non-disclosure agreement.”
Kimbell is suing for copyright infringement, unfair competition and fraud and deceit among her complaints. She is seeking a trial and at least $5 million.
A rep for Rock said the star had “no comment” when contacted by Access Hollywood.
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