Filmmaker Regina Kimbell claims his new “Good Hair” copies her 2005 “My Nappy Roots.”
Chris Rock is having a bad “Hair” day.
Filmmaker Regina Kimbell is claiming Rock’s new documentary “Good Hair,” which opens Friday, rips off her 2005 documentary, “My Nappy Roots: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage.”
Kimbell claims that there are over a dozen similarities between the two films and that Rock screened her film — which won the Pan African Film Festival's best documentary award in 2007 – on the set of his TV show “Everyboody Hates Chris” that same year.
She is claiming copyright infringement. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles, seeks "no less than $5 million" in damages and attorney fees.
Rock co-produced, co-wrote, narrates and appears in "Good Hair," which features such celebrities as rappers Ice-T and Eve, actress Kerry Washington and the Rev. Al Sharpton talking about African-American hair issues and hairstyles over the years, like the conk, Afro, Jheri curl and dreadlocks.
Kimbell claims that there are over a dozen similarities between the two films.
Among the similarities, according to Kimbell: Both films are socially and politically conscious; both were inspired by the filmmakers’ respective daughters; both tour a “manufacturing plant where hair relaxers are made; both also include the use of celebrities — in “Roots," it’s Vivica A. Fox, Malcolm Jamal-Warner and Kim Fields, among others.
Both also look at how India is involved in the use of weaves, and Kimbell claims that while screening her film Rock called out, “We have to go to India!”
Kimbell claims Doug Miller, an executive producer of “Good Hair,” had asked to screen the film for Chris and had promised to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Rock's representatives refused to comment for this article.