The Supreme Court’s ruling this past summer in Matal v. Tam was more than just a decision on the titles that could be used when registering one’s mark, it was also a vindication to those whom slurs have been used against; an opportunity to reclaim the word and change its meaning or at the very least, attach new feelings to it. This was the noble goal underlying lead singer, Simon Tam, of the rock group, “The Slants” action about a decade ago. Tam recalls that growing up “the notion of having slanted eyes was always considered a negative thing…and kids would pull their eyes back in a slant-eyed gesture to make fun of us and I wanted to change it to something that was powerful, something that was considered beautiful.”
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on January 17, 2018. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Sayedy, Eliza, "Matal v. Tam Revisited" (2018). AELJ Blog. 170.