Bootlicker: St. Louis Artist Kelly Wild Wants Her Music Removed From Controversial Movie

Kelly Wild headshot.jpg
Courtesy of Wild
Kelly Wild
Last week, we told you about the backlash local filmmaker Terry Artis was facing for his movie Bootlicker, screening at the Tivoli Theatre today. Part of the controversy stemmed from a flyer for the movie that depicts Mayor Francis Slay as some sort of slave master towering over his black supporters or "slayves."

This is not the only complaint he is receiving.

St. Louis musician Kelly Wild, who collaborated with Artis many years ago, is less than pleased that her copyrighted music appears in the film's trailer -- and her name is listed on the movie's "original soundtrack."

"I don't want my name attached to this in any way shape or form," she tells Daily RFT.

Is Artis going to comply with her requests -- or will she take him to court?

For a quick background, we first wrote about this film in the context of the increasingly contentious race for mayor of St. Louis. Artis, the president and publisher of RiverCity Xaminer, an online black news organization in St. Louis, has formally endorsed Lewis Reed, the president of the Board of Aldermen hoping to oust long-time mayor Slay in the upcoming March primary.

Tivoli theater image.JPG
Sam Levin
Current sign at the Tivoli promoting Bootlicker.

Reed's opponents have pointed out that the candidate's support has often come from controversial figures -- and Artis is no exception. (The Reed camp, however, notes that he has absolutely nothing to do with this film or the slavery flyer).

The film is showing tonight at the Tivoli, which he rented out for a one night only screening.

It's unclear how exactly the film, which Artis says is a documentary he has been working on for some time, portrays Reed or Slay, but it seems pretty low-budget, at least based on its trailer:

This footage just so happens to feature the music of Wild, who says she hadn't talked to Artis for many years and that he never asked his permission to use her songs.

She recently stumbled on the trailer after seeing Artis promoting the film on Facebook.

"I could hear my music and I'm like, 'What is that?'" she says. "Three of us wrote that music over ten years ago."

Continue for more of our interview with Kelly Wild and response from Terry Artis.

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Thankyou Mr. Artist for revealing the truth. I wish you have choosen a music composer whose name we can recognise, Kelly who? I sure it was a mistake. When will the sequel come out I can't wait. Why was'nt "let me use some black history"  Chappelle on the list?


If Mr. Artis co-wrote the songs with you, he has the right to use them no matter how long ago it was. If  Pepsi wanted to use your songs, then Pepsi would have to get permission from all three persons, and pay all three persons. If Pepsi just asked and paid you, then you would be the one in court. So shut up, sit down, and be grateful that people love the movie and are requesting a second showing. If any thing Terry is helping your career, but your to busy bootlicking (no pun intended) to figure that out.

Mikey TheCocktapus Berner
Mikey TheCocktapus Berner

Good! She is a musician and shouldnt have her name tied to such trash! Screw Artis! I hope that no one will go give him their money for this crap. I will post in every social media just to try and get everyone that I know, NOT to go see this movie. Really? Who brings up racism like this to try and promote a movie. We are trying to go forward people, not 2 steps back!

Kat Ellis
Kat Ellis

What she ^^said. have us all rooting for you!!

Lynn Pevey
Lynn Pevey

I hope she takes him to the cleaners for it. Kelly is a wonderfully beautiful and talented musician that definitely does not need her name associated with this type of trash that Mr. Artis is putting out in the world. Karma is going to come back and bite him in the ass for this stupid stunt. GOOD LUCK, KELLY!! TAKE HIM DOWN!!


@mooremichael23 An entertainment attorney would answer this. I represent Union Musicians and based on what was given you have a small claims case without an attorney.

I will also add, the amount of money owed to you is less than what you're case will cost. Any person have the right to use your material with or without your permission. If your material was licensed and published you will receive performance royalties through your publishing company. If you only have a copyright(non-published) on the material, then the names on that copyright along with the type of copyright will decide the legal value.

There is no need to debate what is already established by the copyright law.



"Any person have the right to use your material with or without your permission."

That statement right there tells me you don't represent union musicians.

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