Pineapple Express and the Case of the Stolen Shirt

Wowch verses Pineapple Express

This might classify as some ‘non-news’ but its interesting none the less. T-Shirt design company Wowch, which specializes in off-kilter designs that seem to have a bit of a cat fetish, have pointed the finger at Pineapple Express and demanded satisfaction for what they call theft of a design.

As you can see in this image taken from the Wowch homepage, James Franco is wearing a shirt that is remarkably similar to the one Wowch designed in 2005. They say they made 500 of the “Cat in a Shark” shirts for retailer Urban Outfitters, most of which to Los Angeles and New York.

James Franco, in an interview with Hollywood.com, had this to say about the shirt:

HW: Can you describe your shirt to our readers?
JF: This is actually a David Gordon Green design. There is a I think it’s supposed to be a Great White shark although it’s a bit shaded so it’s black. There’s a kitten in it that looks serene. It’s almost like it’s sleeping. I think the shark is not eating it, but carrying it to safety. The kitten was left out in the ocean and this shark decided to put it in it’s mouth and carry it to shore.

It seems pretty undeniable to me that these shirts are related. They’re pretty similar as is, and with such a unique design and concept, would two different people come to this same image at different times? While it may not have been intentional, isn’t it possible David Gordon Green saw this shirt at some point and then accidentally redesigned it 3 years later without remembering where he saw it? Or, is it more sinister and he just straight up stole it?

The Wowch people had this to say about the similarities of the design:

… faded and darkened the grey, flipped the design, and change the cat from white to yellow.

The designers have said they’re not going to seek legal action, but they do have one demand and I say Judd Apatow and David Gordon Green cough up the goods and give these guys what they need:


Pineapple Express is in theaters now. The “Cat in a Shark” T-Shirt can be purchased at the Wowch page for $25.

Wowch Storefront

What do you think? Coincidence or grand theft design?

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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