Robinhood Markets Inc. was hit with a suit by rapper and actor Ice Cube in the Northern District of California on Wednesday alleging unauthorized use of his likeness to hype subpar and “dangerous” products, which have tarnished his brand.
O’Shea Jackson Sr., better known as Ice Cube, alleges that Robinhood and subsidiary Robinhood Financial LLC used his image without permission “to promote Robinhood’s terrible products and services.”
“This blatant theft of Ice Cube’s image and likeness to endorse Robinhood’s dangerous products and services has resulted in substantial damage to Ice Cube,” according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“Just as Robinhood’s recent well-known conduct has resulted in Congressional investigations and numerous class action lawsuits, so too has it stolen and diminished the hard-earned image and brand of Ice Cube, one of the most prominent Black voices in America,” the complaint alleges.
“In a cynical effort to appeal to a young demographic, Robinhood has engaged celebrity endorsers such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Jared Leto to endorse its products and services,” the complaint alleges. “Robinhood has picked on the wrong man this time.”
The complaint also alleges that Robinhood Financial “serves as a propaganda” arm for Robinhood through its Robinhood Snacks website and app.
Causes of Action: Lanham Act, California Civil Code § 3344(a), misappropriation of likeness under California common law, unfair competition under California Business and Professions Code.
Relief: Injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.
Response: Robinhood didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Attorneys: Freedman & Taitelman LLP represents Ice Cube.
The case is Jackson v. Robinhood Markets Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 21-cv-02304, 3/31/21.