Last fall, Chipotle premiered an anti-factory farming ad anchored by a Fiona Apple cover of Willy Wonka theme, “Pure Imagination.” A lot of people liked it. Other people did not. What many didn’t know until recently, though, is that Chipotle’s ad was originally set to feature a song by eclectic up-and-comer Frank Ocean. Now the two parties are feuding litigiously, and one of them is handling it better than the other.
Apparently outraged by the idea that a Chipotle logo would graze the frame at the end of the video, Frank Ocean pulled out. The company responded by asking for its money back, which seems well within reason. Recently, however, Chipotle had to resort to suing Ocean, and thus making this whole flap public, in order to recoup their advance, which was $212,500, out of a reported total of $425,000. Perhaps annoyed that now everybody knows that he almost shilled for a burrito organization, Ocean published an image of the cashier’s check for the advance on his Tumblr, with a note that reads: “Fuck off.” As some are pointing out, this move is probably not doing Ocean any favors in the court of public opinion.
Frank Ocean is obviously a gifted musician, but there are two sides to him. On the one hand, he worked for years as a behind-the-scenes songwriter for the likes of John Legend and Beyoncé before crafting a universally praised, Grammy-winning official debut album. This latest stunt reminds us, though, of Ocean’s other side, which is closely aligned with clumsily shock-baiting rap collective Odd Future. Perhaps it’s time to work on that sophomore album.
Let us know what you would do with $212,500 in the comments below.