Apple Studios Hit With Lawsuit Over ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Awards Exclusion

Apple Studios has been sued by a Native American costume designer on Killers of the Flower Moon for excluding her from awards consideration, allegedly in retaliation for raising complaints of discrimination.

Kristi Marie Hoffman, in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges she completed “most of the research and costume design for the film” but that her contributions were “completely ignored.”

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Apple Studios didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Killers of the Flower Moon was nominated for 10 Oscars, seven Golden Globe Awards and three SAG Awards while also being nominated by the Costume Designers Guild, which is named in the complaint, for excellence in a period film.

According to the complaint, Hoffman was discriminated against when her work on the production was discredited during the film’s promotion.

When the Costume Designers Guild Award nominations were first announced, Hoffman was initially listed alongside lead costume designer Jacqueline West and identified as the first assistant costume designer, the lawsuit says. She takes issue with the notation being removed at West’s request and being applied to all assistant costume designers, including those in secondary roles.

After Hoffman challenged the decision, the guild found that West’s removal was “improper.” She adds that the movie was “nominated for an Oscar for its costume design, which Defendants further excluded Hoffman.”

When she flagged the alleged misconduct to West, her guild and Apple, they ignored the complaints, the lawsuit alleges. She subsequently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for discrimination, which resulted in a settlement in 2022.

The costume design work was represented as the product of West and consultant Julie O’Keefe, according to the complaint.

Hoffman says she designed the jacket worn by lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio, which she says has “garnered much praise for its authenticity and originality.”

The complaint, which names West and the Costume Designers Guild, brings claims for breach of contract, false advertising, retaliation, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Hoffman seeks damages and an injunction order blocking those named in the lawsuit from making statements downplaying her contributions to the movie.

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