Director of FKA twigs’ ‘Cellophane’ video responds to similarities in Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero’ video

Andrew Thomas Huang has taken to social media to respond to similarities between the music videos for FKA twigs‘ ‘Cellophane’, which he directed, and Lil Nas X‘s ‘Montero (Call Me By Your Name)’.

He first noted the similarities over the weekend following the release of ‘Montero’, posting a side-by-side of both videos on TikTok, captioning it with “@lilnasx take me off your mood board or hire me”.

@andrew.thomas.huang

While I’m at it. @lilnasx take me off your mood board or hire me. #lilnasx #fkatwiggs #fkatwigs

♬ original sound – Andrew Thomas Huang

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The similarities in question include the fact that both videos feature their respective artists descending from the sky into some form of darkness (in Lil Nas X’s case, literal Hell) while pole-dancing.

Huang further elaborated in a since-expired Instagram story, claiming that Lil Nas X’s label, Columbia Records, had previously reached out to him. He then wrote that the label “pivoted away” before hiring the same choreographer who worked on ‘Cellophane’, Kelly Yvonne.

“Consider the power you wield and the artists you harm when you capitalize on our blood sweat tears and emotional labor,” Huang wrote, while tagging Lil Nas X, Columbia Records and Tanu Muino, who co-directed ‘Montero’ along with Lil Nas X.

On March 28, Huang elaborated in a Twitter thread, which he began by noting his support for Lil Nas X: “I’m a fan of @LilNasX. ‘Old Town Road’ is iconic.”

“Sharing collaborators is common. Seeing the ‘Cellophane’ choreographer collab with Lil Nas X is awesome (love a Satan dance). Sharing aesthetics and paying homage is part of the creative process. Collective consciousness exists.”

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He went on to say, “Years of work went into the creation of ‘Cellophane’, from physical training to the emotional labor of unpacking Twigs’ life to construct images told her story of trauma and recovery. ‘Cellophane’ was a confession in the most vulnerable sense.

“When an artist is in a position of power (amplified with the help of major record labels, social media, PR, etc) and repurposes someone’s labor and ideas to serve their brand image, they cause harm by displacing the efforts of the artists who did the original leg work.”

“Intentional or not, copying other artists’ work happens,” Huang continued. “Making music videos is a labor of love. The demand for content pushed by major labels renders our work disposable and pits artists against each other.”

He then specified that he is referring to “major record labels run by white male executives”, saying they “pit women and QBIPOC creators against each other”.







Huang concluded his thread by urging the music community, and specifically Columbia Records to “do better”.

“I urge the music community, particularly major record labels like @ColumbiaRecords to respect directors, uphold artistic accountability and honor the ingenuity of artists dedicating their blood sweat and tears to imagine better futures amidst a broken industry,” Huang wrote.

“We can do better.”

Neither Lil Nas X, FKA twigs, Tanu Muino nor Columbia Records have publicly responded to the similarities between the videos or Huang’s statements.

This isn’t the only controversy the ‘Montero’ video has caused, with right-wing commentators and US politicians criticising its use of religious imagery.

“there is a mass shooting every week that our government does nothing to stop,” Nas X wrote in a now-deleted tweet in response to the criticism, “me sliding down a cgi pole isn’t what’s destroying society.”

View Huang’s full thread below.