Things That Matter

Artist Felix D’Eon Accuses A Wholesaler Of Copying His Design To Sell To Big Box Stores

Felix d’Eon is a Mexico City-based artist who uses his Mexican heritage to create queer Latinx art. Recently, d’Eon accused Target and Mad Engine of copying one of his designs and selling them. According to d’Eon, his “La Bandera” design was copied to a t-shirt that was sold at Target stores and online. He drew “La Bandera” two years ago for a pride line of art work and was angry to see it recreated for profit.

Artist Felix d’Eon is upset that Target has profited off of art copied from his art.

“I was upset when I first saw the image; it seemed clearly inspired by my painting, and it struck me as deeply unfair that I, as an independent, struggling artist, without their reserves of cash, should have my work stolen by a major corporation for their profit,” d’Eon says. “I was upset that I was not consulted before hand.”

Target responded on Twitter to d’Eon’s accusations and disclosed that the shirts came from a vendor.

In a now-deleted tweet, d’Eon identified the vendor who made the t-shirt as Mad Engine. The San Diego-based wholesaler has not responded to mitú‘s requests for comment.

“When you see the two paintings side by side, though, its pretty obvious that they copied me,” d’Eon says. “I find it upsetting that my version is a lot more beautiful, and a cheap, ugly imitation with the same sentiment is the version that should become the one that people would end up wearing.”

D’Eon is disheartened to see big companies consistently profiting off of independent artists.

“These large companies, like H&M, Target, and Forever 21 stealing the work of designers and artists creates an atmosphere in which it is extremely difficult to work, as a creative person,” d’Eon argues. “Its disheartening to be a struggling artist, and find that a major corporation, with immensely deep pockets, and all the money in the world to spend on lawyers, would sell your work, while you yourself struggle.”

The situation speaks to a larger societal problem where artists are undervalued and minorities are misrepresented, says d’Eon.

“It speaks ill of both the company and society that copyrights are protected for corporations, but individuals without those resources have no way to protect themselves,” d’Eon says. “I think that customers should boycott companies that engage in these practices, and support independent artists and designers.”

Mad Engine’s CEO Danish Gajiani did speak to d’Eon according to a post on his Instagram page.

I spoke to the Ceo of Madengine, the company which produced the queer Latinx pride t-shirt which was subsequently sold by Target. They suggested that it is a coincidence that their image looks so much like mine, which is something I cannot disprove, given the similarity of my own painting to the original “La Bandera” card. The question of cultural appropriation, and misappropriation, however, is not ambiguous; the non Latinx model, the lack of an “El” or a “La” before the word “bandera” which suggests a lack of familiarity with the original game, and the CEO’s inability to tell me if any Latinx or queer people were actually involved in the design or production of the t-shirt, including the artist, suggest that no Latinx people actually had a hand in the design of the Queer Latinx Pride shirt. He listened to me and apologised, and offered me a line of t-shirts and other products which would be Latinx or Queer in theme. He also suggested that in the future he would make certain that members of minority groups would be involved in the process of making products geared towards said groups. I hope sincerely that Madengine does in fact do what was promised, and that Target does something similar. Instead of making products for minority communities without the involvement of said communities, such as the queer Latinx community in this particular case, I hope that they also reach out and make certain that Latinx artists are hired and supported, and queer Latinx individuals consulted, so that they are not simply capitalising on minority communities by trying to take our dollars, but also listening to us so that our concerns and opinions are addressed and queer and Latinx artists and models are supported. @target @madengine

A post shared by Félix D'Eon (@felixdeon) on

The original Lotería game includes the articles “El” or “La” in front of the subject name. D’Eon says that the lack of the articles is calling more attention to the lack of diversity in these offices appropriating Latinx culture.

“Furthermore, the decision to use white models to advertise a Mexican themed gay pride t-shirt is inexplicable to me,” d’Eon explains. “I suspect no actual Latinos were involved at any point in this, which is to say, that this is also an issue of cultural appropriation.”

D’Eon does state in his post that the Mad Engine CEO has expressed a desire to create a Latinx line of clothing with input from D’Eon to do it right.

Let us know.


READ: La Sirena Just Met Her Match With This Queer Chicanx’s El Sireno Lotería Card

Share your pride on social media using #QueerLatinoPride and #StoriesOfUs. We can’t wait to see how you celebrate pride!

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Singer-Songwriter Kany García Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy in Puerto Rico

Entertainment

Singer-Songwriter Kany García Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy in Puerto Rico

As the Puerto Rican government is debating a bill on conversion therapy, Kany García is speaking out against the controversial practice. The Boricua singer-songwriter wrote an open letter to the senators in favor of Senate Bill 184, which would help end conversion therapy on the island.

Kany is one of Puerto Rico’s most-decorated artists.

García is one of the Puerto Rico’s top artists. She’s won six Latin Grammy out of a career 20 nominations. In March, she was also nominated for her third Grammy Award for her latest album Mesa Para Dos.

This year Kany celebrated five years since coming out.

On Valentine’s Day 2016, García revealed that she was in a relationship with her partner, Jocelyn Troche. The couple is still going strong with Troche appearing in last year’s “Lo Que En Ti Veo.” She and García share beautiful moments in the video. At November’s Latin Grammy Awards, there was a big wave of artists in the LGBTQ+ community in the major categories, including García, Ricky Martin, Pablo Alborán, and Jesse y Joy’s Joy Huerta.

She’s telling Puerto Rican senators to pass Senate Bill 184 in her letter.

Since coming out, García has remained at the forefront of queer issues in Puerto Rico. The passage of Senate Bill 184 seeks to prohibit conversion therapy. The controversial practice has long harmed LGBTQ+ communities. It’s thought of as a way to rid them of their queer gender or sexual identities.

“Puerto Rico deserves that every girl and boy, every young woman and young man can be who they want to be and love who they want to love,” García wrote in her letter. “This measure has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with the protection of Puerto Rican children and youth.”

García speaks from her own experience. “I am an example of how to be faithful to who you are. I am a woman who deeply loves her partner and who is loved by her family and by our people. There is nothing to change. There is nothing to repair. There’s nothing to heal. We have to give the same opportunity that I have had, to be who I am, to all our children and youth.”

García further writes that the bill should be passed as-is without any amendments. According to Al Día news, Popular Democratic Party Senators Gretchen Hau, Elizabeth Rosa Velez, and Migdalia Gonzalez have filed several amendments to Senate Bill 184 as of Wednesday. Puerto Rico’s governor Pedro Pierluisi has indicated that he’s ready to override the senators if necessary.

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Read: Thalía, Alejandra Gúzman, Anitta And More Lined-Up for ‘Ellas y Su Música’ Mother’s Day Special

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The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Entertainment

The Cast of ‘Glee’ Along With Demi Lovato Paid Tribute to Naya Rivera At the GLAAD Awards

Photo via Getty

On Thursday, the cast of “Glee” paid tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards. Rivera was a once-in-a-lifetime talent the touched so many lives personally and through the screen while she was alive. But perhaps none of Naya’s roles were as impactful as Santana Lopez was.

This year, GLAAD decided to take time to honor the impact Naya Rivera had on LGBTQ representation onscreen.

During a time when LGBTQ represenation onscreen was rare, Santana Lopez was groundbreaking for being both queer and Latina. Santana went from a shut-off closeted cheerleader to an out-and-proud lesbian woman. This was a story arc many queer kids had never seen before.

Demi Lovato introduced the cast of “Glee” with a touching speech. She described how honored she was (and still is) to have played Santana’s girlfriend, Dani, on the show.

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato said. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me: losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend, Dani, on ‘Glee.’”

“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls — like I was at the time,” she went on. “And her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Then, dozens of former “Glee” cast members gathered via Zoom to pay tribute to Naya Rivera.

The tribute featured former “Glee” actors like Darren Criss, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Heather Morris, Harry Shum Jr., Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, and Kevin McHale. There were also many others.

“Naya would be honored to receive this recognition,” read the statement. “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said ‘I feel great about it!'”

“This year marks the tenth anniversary that Naya’s character, Santana Lopez, came out on ‘Glee’,” said Dot-Marie Jones, who played Coach Beast on the Fox series.

“Santana basically got disowned by her family. And as alot of us know, that’s a feeling too many LGBTQ kids know too well,” continued Chris Colfer, who played Kurt Hummel.

The loving tribute then ended with a written statement from Naya Rivera’s mother Yolanda Previtire, who couldn’t make it to the call.

“Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community. Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice.

“She continued: “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

“Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice,” the message read, in part. “I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”

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