After receiving online criticism and lawsuit threats from The Notorious B.I.G.‘s family and estate, reality TV stars Kendall and Kylie Jenner pulled a t-shirt line featuring images of deceased musicians from their online store today (June 30).
Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, first criticized the apparel collection—which featured the sisters’ faces printed over images of the artists—on her personal Instagram yesterday (June 29). She said they did not reach out to her or the estate to ask for permission and called their designs with Biggie and Tupac "exploitation at its worst."
I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this. The disrespect of these girls to not even reach out to me or anyone connected to the estate baffles me. I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful , disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!
TMZ reports that Biggie’s estate followed the post with a cease-and-desist letter promising legal action if the Jenners didn’t pull the shirts. Hours later, they removed them from the website and issued the following statement via Kendall’s Twitter account:
— Kendall (@KendallJenner) June 29, 2017
"While we appreciate that the Jenners have made an apology and pulled the unlawful and unauthorized items, this matter has yet to be resolved," said the estate in a statement to People. The estate did not confirm which aspects of the situation remained pending.
This instance is far from the first time that the Jenners and Kardashians have been accused of exploiting aspects of Black culture for personal gain. In April, Pepsi was forced to pull an advertisement that featured Kendall seemingly ending conflict between activists and police with a can of the sugar-heavy cola.