MTV is currently facing a lawsuit for some footage they aired during the documentary Nicki Minaj: My Time Now. Michael Savely, a street drummer who performs under the name Mike Alaska, is suing MTV and Viacom for violating his privacy and tarnishing his image by airing footage of him drumming on a public subway platform at the beginning of the Nicki Minaj’s documentary. Â Savely allegedly refused to sign a waiver allowing the very private, personal footage of him drumming in a very public, highly populated area to be released, claimingÂ “the footage would misrepresent his connection with other artists whose style conflict with the one that he has developed.”
Savely believes that it was his appearance on the show and his implied association with Nicki Minaj that effectively drove away parents looking to hire him as a drum tutor for their children. Â His conservative image, which consists of tattoos and a foot-high mohawk in various colorful shades, was muddled by his association with Minaj, whoÂ “dresses provocatively, uses profanity and glorifies a specific lifestyle.” Â As stated in an article on Adweek, Savely claims that when his image began to appear on the documentaryÂ in December 2010, his tutoring business and T-shirt sales went down hill. Â It’s all in the fine print. Â Most New England parents frequently tune into MTV and pay close attention to irrelevant background images in Hip Hop documentaries, to make certain their children aren’t going to be negatively influenced by their music teacher.
In further solidification of his pure and highly moral character, Savely refused to comment on the case without the promise of monetary compensation.