Indigenous ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Costume Designer Sues Apple for Breach of Contract, Citing Racial Discrimination

Kristi Marie Hoffman claims her work on Martin Scorsese’s film went “completely ignored” at the behest of lead designer Jacqueline West

Killers of the Flower Moon
"Killers of the Flower Moon" (Credit: Apple)

The Native American assistant costume designer for Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” has sued Apple Studios on claims that her work on the film was willfully ignored during awards season.

In the lawsuit obtained by TheWrap. designer Kristi Marie Hoffman claims that she did “most of the research and costume design for the film,” particularly for the costumes worn by the Osage actors in the film. She claims she also designed the jacket worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in his performance as Ernest Burkhart. But she also claims that she was discriminated against by being excluded from credit at the Academy Awards and the Costume Designers Guild Awards.

Hoffman claims that she was initially listed as the first assistant costume designer on the nominee list for the Costume Designers Guild Awards, but was removed at the request of lead designer Jacqueline West with the credit being applied to all assistant designers, including those in secondary roles.

The CDG later ruled that Hoffman’s credit removal was “improper,” but Hoffman believes the exclusion was retaliation for filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint settled in December 2022 over alleged racial discrimination she faced on the set of “Killers of the Flower Moon” that “affected her mentally and emotionally.”

Hoffman also accused West, alongside clothing consultant Julie O’Keefe, did not acknowledge her contributions in interviews after West was nominated for an Academy Award for “Killers.” The lawsuit states claims of breach of contract, retaliation and infliction of emotional distress.

“Hoffman, who has been in the film and TV industry since around 2004 and has contributed to many productions, poured her heart into ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ as a film about Native Americans to which she could relate as a Native herself,” the lawsuit reads.

“Hoffman endured discriminatory conduct on the set of ‘KOTFM,’ as she was subsequently discredited for her work during the film’s promotion and release and targeted with ads celebrating West and O’Keefe for the results of her hard work.”

TheWrap has reached out to Apple for comment.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.


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