A sermon Pastor Shirley Caesar did in 2010 went viral and inspired the latest internet craze called the#UNameItChallenge. In response, Caesar has reportedly has filed a lawsuit against DJ Suede for what her team is calling an “unauthorized use” of the oft-quoted performance. The Grammy-winning gospel artist’s legal team alleges the video has cost Caesar over $5 million, WGCL-TV reported.
“DJ Suede and his management were in conversations with her lawyer,” Judge Glenda Hatchett said Thursday. “They didn’t reach an agreement and they put it out anyway.” James Walker, Caesar’s attorney, added that the remix and video in question “violate the brand, image, and name of a Christian pastor.” The remix was distributed on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play.
The legal team also argues that the remix could have jeopardized a deal Caesar had with Snoop Dogg, who released his own #UNameItChallenge entry that received their blessing. “Snoop did his clean version to send the message that ‘this is Shirley Caesar’,” Walker told WGCL-TV. “We need to honor her.” Proceeds from the initial Snoop Dogg deal, Hatchett said, would have gone to help those in need.
Last month, Caesar opened up about when exactly she discovered the sermon had become a global viral sensation. “I was out in the middle of the ocean, and one of the members of the church showed it to me,” Caesar said during an interview on the Willie Moore Jr. Show. “I’ve been doing it for years… I was so shocked to see them dancing and boogying. The Lord is so good to me.”