Ice Cube Sues Robinhood for Unauthorized Use of His Likeness, Says Financial Company ‘Picked on the Wrong Man This Time’

Rapper and actor Ice Cube has sued financial service company Robinhood Markets Inc. for alleged unauthorized use of his image to sell “dangerous” products the rapper claimed tarnished his brand, according to Bloomberglaw.

The 51-year-old, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson Sr., said that Robinhood and its subsidiary Robinhood Financial LLC used his likeness without his permission “to promote Robinhood’s terrible products and services.” The rapper cited a March 8 post about Robinhood Snacks, a daily newsletter dedicated to finance.

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – JULY 13: BIG3 founder Ice Cube reacts during the game between the Ghost Ballers and the Power during week four of the BIG3 three on three basketball league at Dunkin’ Donuts Center on July 13, 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/BIG3/Getty Images)

The post at hand — titled “Why are tech stocks falling?” — featured a still shot from Cube’s 2007 film “Are We Done Yet?” The rapper co-starred in the movie with John C. McGinley. The company captioned  the image, “Correct yourself, before you wreck yourself,” a reference in part to lyrics from Cube’s 1992 single “Check Yo Self.”

TMZ obtained documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, which stated, “Defendants deliberately and shamelessly misappropriated Ice Cube’s image and likeness to promote Robinhood’s horrible products and services—and the last things in the world to which Ice Cube would ever attach his image and likeness.” It added, “This blatant theft of Ice Cube’s image and likeness to endorse Robinhood’s dangerous products and services has resulted in substantial damage to Ice Cube.”

The suit also mentioned Robinhood’s infamous role in the GameStop stock scandal earlier this year and its controversial move in which the brand froze trading access for some investors. 

“Just as Robinhood’s recent well-known conduct has resulted in Congressional investigations and numerous class action lawsuits, so too has it stolen and diminished the hard-earned image and brand of Ice Cube, one of the most prominent Black voices in America,” the lawsuit continued. “In a cynical effort to appeal to a young demographic, Robinhood has engaged celebrity endorsers such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Jared Leto to endorse its products and services. Robinhood has picked on the wrong man this time.

TMZ reported that an unidentified source said when the “Barber Shop” star asked the financial corporation to remove the image and lyrics because he was offended, Robinhood refused. The rapper also believes that this is Robinhood’s way of trying to punish Cube’s business partner Jeff Kwatinetz, who has sued and called out the company publicly in the past. 

Meanwhile, Robinhood denied any wrongdoing, telling the media outlet that the images were obtained and used legally. “No, we didn’t use his image without permission,” a representative for Robinhood said in a statement. “The image was licensed and used for non-commercial, editorial purposes in connection with a blog article.”

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