Chipotle Sues Frank Ocean

By Scott Lapatine / March 7, 2014 - 10:17 pm

UPDATE: Frank Ocean has responded to the controversy with a Tumblr post that simply links to wikipedia.org/wiki/Defamation.

UPDATE 2: Ocean has shared an image of a check he’s made out for $212,500.00. Memo: FUCK OFF.

UPDATE 3: Ocean apparently hasn’t actually paid Chipotle yet. A spokesman for the burrito joint tells Rolling Stone, “If/when we get a check from Frank, we should be able to close the books on this. Right now, all we have is a photo online.

UPDATE 4: Ocean paid Chipotle (but now with that check) and the lawsuit’s been dismissed.

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Remember when Fiona Apple covered Willy Wonka‘s “Pure Imagination” for Chipotle? Well, that was supposed to be Frank Ocean’s job, but he allegedly backed out for an absurd reason, and now the organic-minded Mexican fast food chain is suing him. Last year Apple told Pitchfork how she became Ocean’s replacement: “Chipotle was in a big rush and they initially wanted Frank Ocean, but he screwed up his voice.” Not true according to the lawsuit. TMZ reports that Ocean agreed to sing the song for $425,000, but balked when he saw a Chipotle logo at the end of the accompanying short film, which promoted an app about the dangers of factory farming. From TMZ:

Chipotle claims Frank never recorded the track because when they showed him the final cut … Frank was pissed the company’s logo appeared at the end of the spot.

To reiterate … he was mad Chipotle’s logo was in a Chipotle advertisement.

The restaurant says it got an email from Frank’s people claiming Frank thought he was promised final say over the recording and all promotional materials — and believed the company was in breach when it refused to remove its logo.

Chipotle is suing to get back the $212,500 advance it paid Ocean.

It’s sort of hard to believe Ocean would have such a problem with that branding — the video was only going to be viewable on Chipotle’s YouTube channel so it’s not like anyone would have been confused about its origins. And anyway, Ocean is clearly not worried about selling out.

It would’ve been cool to hear his version. You can buy Fiona Apple’s on iTunes or hear it in the video at the bottom of this post.

In other Ocean legal news, the singer is changing his name. Or rather, he’s making Ocean his real name. TMZ (again!) reports that Christopher Edwin Breaux has filed to officially change his name to Frank Ocean. To do that the court requires him to publish an ad announcing the change in a local newspaper once a week for four weeks. So keep an eye out for that, Los Angeles.