Artist Threatens to Sue Cardi B Over 'Sexy' Marge Simpson Halloween Costume

Italian artist aleXsandro Palombo is threatening to take legal action against Cardi B because of the "sexy" Marge Simpson outfit she wore at Halloween.

For Halloween this year, the rapper Cardi B dressed as Marge Simpson wearing a Thierry Mugler dress, which Palombo claims is directly lifted from a piece of artwork he designed in 2013. He claims that Cardi B and members of her team also shared his picture on social media without credit.

Palombo states that the look Cardi B sported, then the image she shared, comes from "Marge Simpson Style Icon," an artwork series he created in 2013. The collection of images showed the Simpsons character in a number of classic outfits, as well as some compromising positions.

On October 31, 2022, Cardi B shared an image of herself painted yellow, with Marge Simpson's iconic tall blue hair, dressed in a Mugler dress. The second image shows a cartoon version of the same image, which Palombo says is his original design. The photographer Jora Frantzis and artistic director Kollin Carter also shared the same images on their Instagram accounts.

"Cardi B and her collaborators have used my artwork without any authorization, debasing its original meaning and only to amplify their image with a clear commercial purpose that has nothing to do with that path of social awareness that has always characterized my works," Palombo wrote in a statement sent to Newsweek.

First launched by Vogue in 2013, Palombo created 24 images of Marge Simpson wearing notable pop culture clothing, such as Geri Horner's Union Jack dress, Kate Moss' Playboy pose, and Madonna's Jean Paul Gaultier bustier. The Thierry Mugler dress that both Marge and Cardi B wore is from 1995.

Further explaining his anger, Palombo asked: "Dear Mrs Cardi B, based on your reasoning, shall everyone illegally download your music?"

Cardi B shared the images with her 144 million Instagram followers online, and received over 12,000 comments, many of which were positive. "You win Halloween," "Broke the Internet" and "So sexy" were just some of the replies she got.

Palombo's lawyer, Claudio Volpi of Barberi & Volpi, said he is taking legal action against the American pop star and her "closest collaborators" for unauthorized use of the artwork.

"Cardi B has illegitimately appropriated the work of aleXsandro Palombo for mere business purposes in defiance of the most elementary rules on copyright and Instagram policies, with the consequent serious risks, both of compensation and of discredit for her public image," Volpi said in a statement sent to Newsweek.

Speaking on his own Instagram account, Palombo went into further detail as to why he feels so aggrieved. Posted just hours after Cardi B had posted her own images, the artist updated the post, stating that they have reached out to the singer and her team, but are yet to hear back.

Palombo is an Italian artist who attended the Marangoni Institute in Milan. His work often involved using cartoon and fictional characters, and reimagining them in serious real-world scenarios. This has included Disney princesses having a mastectomy, The Simpsons characters reenacting the death of George Floyd and superimposing injuries onto female political figures to protest violence against women.

Newsweek has reached out to Cardi B's representatives for a response.

Cardi B dressed as Marge Simpson
Cardi B shared images of herself dressed as Marge Simpson, wearing a Thierry Mugler dress, as well as an animated image which appeared to be similar to a design by the artist aleXsandro Palombo. Shareif Ziyadat/Instagram @CardiB / aleXsandro Palombo / Getty Images