Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Surprising no one, Nike is real mad about those Lil Nas X Satan Shoes

Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X
Photo: Amy Sussman (Getty Images)

A few days ago, Lil Nas X released a new video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)“ in which he—among other things—rides a stripper pole down into Hell after getting shut out of Heaven and gives Satan a lap dance, though somewhat straightforwardly controversial on the surface, Lil Nas X smartly framed the video as both an expression of being happy with who he is as a gay man and a “fuck you” to the people who would try and have tried to make him feel bad for who he is. As we pointed out on Sunday, it was essentially a trap to get people to expose their intolerances (which many people, including a former NBA player and a politician, did do).

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As an extra bonus payoff for the release of the video, Lil Nas X also teamed up with a company called MSCHF that specializes in limited-edition troll-y products to sell 666 pairs of “Satan Shoes” like the ones the Devil wears in the “Montero” video, with MSCHF proudly proclaiming that each shoe contained a drop of human blood in the sole. The Satan Shoes were actually customized Nike Air Max 97s, and a lot of people jumped at the chance to channel their discomfort over the “Montero” video into some kind of religious-based offense over the shoes by yelling at Nike itself—even though it was quick to distance itself from the whole thing.

The Satan Shoes went on sale this morning and immediately sold out, but even though the evil horse has already left the evil barn, Nike has decided to file a lawsuit against MSCHF for trademark infringement. As Hollywood-reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Nike cites the social media confusion about whether or not it was involved as proof that MSCHF had messed with its trademark, since the shoes are definitely Nikes, which Nike says is causing “dilution” with its brand and creating “unfair competition.” It’s asking for “compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages,” as well as “disgorgement of profits in an amount to be determined.” Nike also wants all of the shoes and any marketing materials, so if you were lucky enough to get a pair before they sold out… you might not get them. We’ll see how this shakes out.

It’s worth noting that Lil Nas X himself isn’t being sued, possibly because Nike knew that he would just post some blistering meme on Twitter and they’d get shamed into oblivion, but he did post a funny SpongeBob clip in response to the suit. He’s going to have to eat his paintings!