S. Victor Whitmill is the tattoo artist behind Mike Tyson’s legendary face tattoo. He claimed the Maori-inspired tattoo was copyrighted. Therefore, he sued Warner Bros. in Federal District Court in St. Louis on April 28 when he saw his work used in the upcoming The Hangover Part II. Whitmill made demands that the studio stop using the tattoo in advertising or in the movie, claiming "reckless copyright infringement." In addition, he asked for millions in damages.
A St. Louis federal judge ruled the tattoo can be used and there will be no delay in the film’s release this Friday, May 27, just in time for the high box office numbers for Memorial Day weekend. In the film, Ed Helms, who plays Stu, wakes up with Mike Tyson’s face tattoo after a bender.
In a statement, Warner Bros. said, “(The) plaintiff's failed attempt to enjoin the film in order to try and extract a massive settlement payment from Warner Bros. was highly inappropriate and unwarranted.”
Mike Tyson has made no comment on the lawsuit.
(Photos, from left: Getty Images/Warner Bros.)