In the suit, filed on Friday (Mar. 7) in Los Angeles, Chipotle claims it enlisted Ocean for his vocals on an advertisement against industrial farming. The song, a cover of Willy Wonka’s “Pure Imagination,” was to be recorded by the singer to accompany an animated video by the food chain. Chipotle also claims that the intent of the ad and that it was being funded by the company was discussed with Ocean.
After sharing an unfinished video of the animation with the singer, Chipotle says they paid him $212,500 — the first half of his agreed compensation — in July 2013, but that the singer backed out of the deal on his deadline in August. The restaurant attached a letter received from Ocean’s legal team to their lawsuit documents:
“When Frank was asked to participate in this project, Chipotle’s representatives told him that the thrust of the campaign was to promote responsible farming. There was no Chipotle reference or logo in the initial presentation, and Chipotle told Frank that was an intentional element of the campaign,” the letter reads in part. “Frank was also promised that he’d have the right to approve the master and all advertising.”
Assuring that the terms of the deal were clearly stated, Chipotle is now suing Ocean for the $212,500 he was paid, along with additional damages. Ocean was replaced by Fiona Apple for the ad.