Skip to content

HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Tyson, Tribes and Tattoos

What do the Maori tribe of New Zealand, the Mike Tyson face tattoo and the U.S. Copyright Office have in common? They are all bit players in the copyright scuffle under way between a Maori tattoo designer and Warner Bros. Entertainment over “The Hangover Part II.”

Those who have seen “Hung Over Again: Just Like the First Time but Kinda Different” already know Ed Helms’ character wakes up with a face tattoo quite similar to the one boxer-turned-actor Mike Tyson has been sporting for years.

Tyson’s tattoo, inspired by those held sacred by the indigenous people of New Zealand, is apparently causing the kerfuffle. The tattoos are featured all over the film’s promotional materials, but S. Victor Whitmill, the tattoo’s designer, has filed a copyright claim against Warner Bros. asking that the production company remove images of the tattoo from the posters as well as the film.

If Whitmill wins the claim, the film would be effectively removed from theaters. Or, he could just wait two weeks until the movie leaves theaters on its own …