Yeah, you read that right. Grammy-Award winning DJ Diplo was above requesting usage or offering payment for independent illustrator and animator Rebecca Mock’s work. Without her permission, he used her animated gif as a promotional Instagram for his latest collaboration. Not content with having a conversation about copyright and usage laws, he responded to Mock’s outcry with the basest mode of sexual harassment, preserved by webcomic artist Jeffrey Rowland:
I didn’t think this exchange needed to be dissected, but according to some choice Instagram comments, it does. Here’s some basic takeaways (personal rage heavily edited):
- Artists deserve to be credited and compensated for their work. If you don’t own it, it’s not yours to manipulate, distribute, sell, or make your own promotional images out of.
- Don’t sexually harass anyone. Not in response to a complaint. Not at all. Not ever.
Let’s assume a neutral stance, and say that Diplo was employing a rhetorical device: that he didn’t mean literally that adequate compensation for an artist’s work should be his rancid sexual attention. What he and his social media supports are suggesting is that even RESPECT is too much payment to give for using someone else’s work. And the easiest way to show a female artist disrespect is to shine a sexual light on her.
Comics fans, you know that’s wrong. Decent humans, you know it’s wrong too.
And trust me, it’s not above notice that Diplo stole Mock’s artwork to advertise an upcoming collaborative remix with Missy Elliot, a groundbreaking and pioneering female artist in her own right. Women, artists: people deserve recognition and recompense for their creative work.
Shame on you, Diplo, for being so myopic to your own fucking project.
Support Rebecca Mock’s incredible work by buying it.