T.I. and his wife Tiny Harris are preparing to battle it out with toymaker MGA Entertainment over the intellectual property rights of former teen pop girl group OMG Girlz.
On Friday (January 6), Tiny, who formed the OMG Girlz in 2009, called out MGA for allegedly stealing the group’s likeness for its L.O.L Surprise OMG Girls dolls
Sharing some examples of the similarities between the two, the Xscape singer wrote on Instagram: “This is a straight up & down infringement case on @omggirlz likeness & their creation that we all worked so hard to build. Only to be snatched by a big company with no remorse.”
She added: “I am only fighting for what’s right on behalf of the Girlz & us!! #OMGGirlz #OMGDolls #MGA #PrettyHustle #GrandHustle.”
T.I. and Tiny claim that MGA announced it was planning on launching a line of dolls modeled after the OMG Girlz in 2010 but failed to secure a licensing agreement and allegedly refused to discuss compensation.
The dolls hit shelves in 2019, however, T.I. and Tiny weren’t aware of this until fans brought it to their attention. They claim they tried to settle the matter privately with MGA, which then allegedly prompted the toy company to file a lawsuit against the Atlanta couple.
MGA responded in bad faith,” T.I. and Tiny argued in a countersuit. “Rather than discuss a licensing agreement, MGA instead pre-emptively filed a lawsuit claiming that they alone created and own the name and image of the OMG Dolls.”
T.I. and Tiny added that they cannot allow MGA to “simply misappropriate the OMG Girlz name and image without compensation.”
According to Law & Crime reporter Meghann Cuniff, there are big “cultural misappropriation and racism issues” being considered in litigation, among “other pre-trial issues.”
Cuniff, who sat in on a pre-trial conference for the case on Thursday (January 5), said there was mention of “T.I.’s criminal history, and about Tiny making a t-shirt with her daughter’s mugshot
She added that there will be 31 dolls discussed within the trial, and according to an MGA lawyer, this means “there will be 31 mini trials, as the creative origins of each doll are explored in full.”
The OMG Girlz was originally a quartet ranging in age from 11 to 13. Alongside Tiny’s daughter Zonnique Pullins was Lil Wayne’s daughter Reginae Carter, and sisters Bahja and Lourdes Rodriguez.
The group debuted their first single, “Ain’t Nobody,” in 2010 and were signed to Pretty Hustle, Tiny’s music imprint. Shortly after, Reginae, who was the youngest among the girls, left the group.
Best known for their singles “Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Where the Boys At?”, and “Gucci This (Gucci That),” they also made multiple appearances on the 2012 series T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle. The group disbanded in 2015.