A Native American costume designer for 'Killers of the Flower Moon' is suing Apple, saying it denied her proper credit

Jim Hemphill, Rodrigo Prieto and Jacqueline West, right, at IndieWire's event for "Killers of the Flower Moon"  in Los Angeles, California.
Jim Hemphill, Rodrigo Prieto, and Jacqueline West at IndieWire's event for "Killers of the Flower Moon" in Los Angeles.IndieWire/Getty Images
  • A Native American costume designer on "Killers of the Flower Moon" is suing Apple and others.

  • She alleges that her work on the Martin Scorsese movie was overlooked during awards season.

  • The costume designer has already settled a racial-discrimination claim against Apple.

A Native American costume designer for "Killers of the Flower Moon" who previously settled a racial-discrimination charge against Apple is going after the company again.

Kristi Marie Hoffman says her contributions to Martin Scorsese's movie, which was originally an Apple TV+ production, about murders within the Osage Nation were downplayed during the awards season.

Hoffman filed the lawsuit on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing the costume designer Jacqueline West, Apple Studios, Apple, and the Costume Designers Guild of "completely burying" her work.

The lawsuit says West invited Hoffman, a member of a federally recognized tribe, to join "Killers of the Flower Moon" because of her "design expertise and cultural competency."

It says Hoffman worked for a year alongside West, Osage Nation members, and other Native Americans to create authentic costumes, including a jacket worn by Leonardo DiCaprio.

The movie received critical acclaim, earning 10 Academy Award nominations, seven Golden Globe nominations, and a CDG award for excellence in period film, among others.

It also generated $156.4 million globally, Screen Rant reported, though Forbes said this was against a budget of $200 million.

The lawsuit says Hoffman was identified as "First Assistant Costume Designer" when the CDG award nominations were first announced.

But it says West requested the removal of this credit, which was applied to all assistant costume designers.

Hoffman challenged this change with the CDG, the suit says, which found West's action "improper" and reinstated her title.

But Hoffman was again excluded when the movie was nominated for an Oscar for costume design, it says.

The lawsuit says Hoffman's involvement was overlooked during the promotional tour, with defendants presenting West and a consultant as having done most of the work.

Hoffman completed "most of the research and costume design" and "poured her heart into KOTFM as a film about Native Americans to which she could relate as a Native herself," the suit says.

It also says Hoffman experienced racial discrimination on set, leading to her file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in July 2021 against Apple Studios, Apple TV+, and Apple Inc.

The parties resolved the issue with a confidential settlement in December 2022, the lawsuit says.

In this latest lawsuit against Apple and others, Hoffman brings claims of intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, false advertising, and breach of contract. She's seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

She's also requesting an injunction preventing the defendants from making statements downplaying her contributions.

Apple, the CDG, and representatives for West didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

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