T.I. and Tiny’s legal battle against a toy maker have been placed on pause — for now.
According to Rolling Stone, the case between the superstar couple and L.O.L. doll maker MGA Entertainment has come to a halt after a judge declared a mistrial on Wednesday (Jan. 25).
Per reports, U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna granted the motion on behalf of MGA after jurors were presented with a testimony that accused the toy maker of “racist cultural appropriation.”
Prior to the trial, Judge Selna informed the pair that they were to avoid any claims of their original accusations in 2021 that said the founder of the company, Isaac Larian, frequently engaged in “using his doll business to miss appropriate the likeness of Black female artists.”
The testimony that caused for the ruling was led by a woman who said she “did not want to support a company that steals from African Americans and their ideas.”
Jurors in @MGAEnt v. @Tip heard from a woman who said she stopped buying OMG Dolls because “I did not want to support a company that steals from African Americans and their ideas.”
Today, a judge declared a mistrial because of it, agreeing with this argument from MGA’s lawyers. pic.twitter.com/51LXV8gFBO
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) January 25, 2023
Additionally, the woman revealed that she believes the company’s L.O.L. Surprise OMG dolls specifically imitated the former girl group, OMG Girlz, which was formed by Grand Hustle (T.I.) and Pretty Hustle (Tiny).
“Hearing the testimony was even worse than reading it in the cold print. The prejudicial nature of this testimony accusing MGA of racist cultural appropriation cannot be understated,” said MGA lawyers in a court filing. “There is no unringing this bell, no way for MGA to counter the improper testimony, and no instruction the court can give to cure this problem.”
As previously reported by AfroTech, Tiny noted that it was the clothing worn by the dolls that made her start to question the toy maker’s motives.
“The dolls’ outfits are what struck me, and that’s how I knew they were infringing on our trademark. One outfit, in particular, stood out to me because I personally designed the outfit for the OMG Girlz’ tour,” Tiny recalled, according to Forbes. “It wasn’t something that I picked up in the store. So, for their doll to have on the exact outfit, I knew they stole it.”
Although Judge Selna did side with MGA to bring the trial to a close, a status conference has been set for Feb. 2 to discuss plans to start over.