Judge Blocks MSCHF From Shipping Lil Nas X’s Satanic Nikes
Lil Nas X knows how to get people’s attention. With the release of his new single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and all its attendant fanfare, he has once again done so. The music video, in which Nas pole-dances into hell to give Satan a lapdance, has raised the ire of parties ranging from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to “I’m Not Racist” rapper Joyner Lucas to FKA twigs stans, many of whom pointed out a resemblance to the pole dancing choreography in her “Cellophane” video. (For what it’s worth, twigs gave Nas her blessing, while “Cellophane” director Andrew Thomas Huang expressed more complicated feelings about the homage.) And then, of course, there were the Satan Shoes.
Nas partnered with the streetwear company MSCHF to create a limited run of 666 customized Nike Air Max 97s featuring a Pentagram and (purportedly) a drop of human blood. Despite a hefty price of 1,018 — a reference to the bible verse Luke 10:18, in which Jesus mentions Satan falling from heaven “like lightning” — the Satan Shoes immediately sold out. But Nike sued MSCHF earlier this week after conservative groups threatened to boycott the massive corporation despite their complete lack of involvement in Lil Nas X’s product. And now, as The Hollywood Reporter reports, US District Court Judge Eric Komitee has granted Nike a temporary restraining order preventing the Satan Shoes from being shipped out.
The order will stand until a more in-depth hearing on the matter can proceed. Citing “the Rogers test,” derived from the landmark copyright case Rogers vs. Grimaldi, MSCHF contends that the Satan Shoes are art and will likely be displayed in collections and museums like their previously released Jesus Shoes. Meanwhile Nike’s lawyers say the company “submitted evidence that even sophisticated sneakerheads were confused.” Quoth the swoosh’s attorney, “We have submitted numerous evidence that some consumers are saying they will never buy Nike shoes ever again.”