A hoverboard manufacturer is suing Jennifer Lopez, and I take no pleasure in saying the following: The company has a pretty good case.
I don’t know about you, but usually when a hoverboard manufacturer sues a beloved entertainer, I am personally inclined to take the entertainer’s side. We all know how litigious hoverboard companies can be. And Jennifer Lopez has brought me many hours of joy over her lifetime through both her acting and her music (elsewhere in the news, she’s participating in a more gender-equitable Bye Bye Birdie!), whereas the hoverboard industry has done nothing but stoke my fear about becoming a late-night punchline whose death is caused by a much-derided novelty item exploding.
But I’ve reviewed the facts of this case, per Variety’s report, and I believe J. Lo owes the Sidekick Group an apology. See, in late 2015, “at the height of the hoverboard craze,” the company furnished Lopez with 42 custom hoverboards to be used in her Las Vegas show. Lopez’s agreement held that, in exchange for the hoverboards, she would post about them on social media every three months. I haven’t checked in on the going rate for hoverboard spon-con lately, but a tweet or ‘gram per quarter from an international diva seems like a fair price and a good deal for all parties. But Lopez didn’t keep up her end of the bargain: She only tweeted about the product one measly time. As if her pristine social media presence would be sullied by mentioning these hoverboards that were generously provided to her free of charge!
Sidekick has a right to be peeved. And all the company is asking for from Lopez is the retail value of all the free hoverboards—$1,295 each times 42, or $54,390. No legal fees, no damages, just the cost. For once, a hoverboard company is behaving eminently reasonably. Jennifer Lopez, I beg you to pay the $50k; do you really want to be the villain in a hoverboard legal battle?