Apple Gets A Bite Taken Out Of It In ‘Killers Of The Flower Moon’ Costume Designer Awards Dust-Up, Discrimination Allegations

One of the Assistant Costume Designers on the Martin Scorsese directed Killers of the Flower Moon is alleging that Apple Studios and the Costume Designers Guild worked hand in hand to erase her contribution to the multi-nominated Lily Gladstone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro starring film.

“Throughout the multitude of award nominations for KOTFM, Apple teamed up with West and CDG to promote the film and its costume design,” says Kristi Marie Hoffman of the studio, the guild and costume designer Jacqueline West in her six-claim complaint filed in LA Superior Court today (read it here).

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“Despite Hoffman being the primary ACD and completing most of the research and costume design for the film, the Defendants not only specifically excluded her involvement in its promotion but also completely ignored her work and instead represented to the public at large that the costume design work, her work, was the product of West and a consultant on the film, Julie O’Keefe,” the jury trial seeking document states.

Apple, Apple Studios, West and the Costume Designers Guild are all named as defendants in the complaint.

A veteran costumer on Captain America: Civil War and 2015’s The Revenent among a slew of credits, Hoffman is seeking a variety of unspecified damages as well as an injunction against further promotion of the often brutal film based on David Gran’s 2017 book on the Osage murders of over 100 years ago.

Apple, who worked with the Osage Nation on their awards promotion and messaging for the film, and the CDG did not respond to request for comment from Deadline on the complaint.

However, with a 2022 settled e Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dispute with the defendants and dust-up over her notation in the film’s Costume Designers Guild Award in 2023, it is clear this situation wasn’t unknown to the parties.

Represented by Katie Charleston Law of Huntington Beach, Hoffman claims she was discriminated on the set of Flower Moon, and has been “targeted” since she spoke out about her treatment on the film and the aftermath:

Hoffman, who has been in the television and film industry since around 2004 and has contributed to many productions, poured her heart into KOTFM as a film about Native Americans to which she could relate as a Native herself.

Hoffman endured discriminatory conduct on the set of KOTFM, as she was subsequently discredited for her work during the film’s promotion and release and targeted with ads celebrating West and O’Keefe for the results of her hard work.

Indeed, Apple and CDG worked together through sponsored ads to promote West and O’Keefe for Hoffman’s work while failing to acknowledge her but ensuring she received the ads through an email campaign. Such actions further exasperated the mental and emotional anguish of Hoffman’s initial discrimination and subsequent elimination as a primary contributor to the film’s design, which received many accolades.

Since her EEOC Complaint, Hoffman has been targeted through elimination efforts by Defendants for her contributions to the film by Defendants’ promotion of West and O ‘Keefe for her efforts.

What is odd about this is that under the current contract of the CDG, who are in talks with the studios over the next IATSE Basic Agreement, Hoffman and any ACD are full under the jurisdiction of the costume designer, in this case West. It also seems that as a member of the guild Hoffman may lack the standing to cite the CDG as a defendant.

An issue that may be brought up at the next CDG general meeting on June 22. Which , at the speed of justice in backlogged LA County courts, will likely be well before this matter gets taken up in Judge Lisa K Sepe-Wiesenfeld’s Santa Monica courtroom.

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