South African band say Suicide Squad director stole their style

Photo promoting Die Antwoord's single Banana Brain.
Photo promoting Die Antwoord's single Banana Brain. PHOTO: YO-LANDI VISSIER/INSTAGRAM

LOS ANGELES • South African musicians Die Antwoord accused Suicide Squad director David Ayer on Thursday of ripping off their unique visual style.

Yo-Landi Visser (above), the rap-rave outfit's lead singer, posted a lengthy, blistering rant on Instagram, which began by telling the director of the Warner Bros super anti-hero film: "Yes David Ayer u jockin our style."

She went on to claim she had learnt through the film's stars, Cara Delevingne and Jared Leto, that Ayer had been enthusing about Die Antwoord on set, adding that "u never asked our permission to rip us off".

The 31-year-old alleged that her bandmate Ninja had raised the issue with Ayer in a text message, but that "u said nothin like a scared lil b***h". Visser and Ninja - real names Anri du Toit and Watkin Tudor Jones - rose to fame after popularising the Afrikaans "Zef" counter-culture through three rap- rave albums.

They also starred in Neill Blomkamp's 2015 sci-fi feature Chappie, which made more than US$100 million (S$134.6 million) worldwide, alongside Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman.

Visser said Ayer had lifted the opening sequence of Umshini Wam, a 2011 short film starring the duo and directed by Harmony Korine, who wrote the screenplay for Larry Clark's controversial 1995 teen drama Kids.

She also posted a video that she said proved Ayer had plagiarised from the look of Visser and Ninja for his interpretation of how Leto's Joker and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn should look.

Leto made a contradictory claim in an interview last week that pop star David Bowie had been the inspiration for The Joker.

Visser rounded off her Instagram rant by joining the critics who have lambasted Suicide Squad, which has grossed about US$270 million despite dismal reviews.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2016, with the headline 'South African band say Suicide Squad director stole their style'. Print Edition | Subscribe