The check was for $212,500, the amount that Chipotle says Ocean owes for reneging on a deal that involved delivering a song for a Chipotle campaign.
"At this point, we don’t know if he’s looking to resolve this, or if that’s just a stunt," said Chris Arnold, Chipotle communications director.
Ocean was to record a version of the song "Pure Imagination" for Chipotle's animated film and video game "The Scarecrow." The campaign is meant to promote sustainable farming, something the brand has highlighted since it started in 1993.
Chipotle paid Ocean $212,500 up front for the song, but Ocean refused to do it; he says he was only interested in promoting the farming, not Chipotle.
"When Frank was asked to participate in this project, Chipotle's representatives told him that the thrust of the campaign was to promote sustainable farming," read an email that Ocean's counsel sent to Chipotle. "There was no Chipotle reference or logo in the initial presentation."
But Chipotle is arguing the connection between Chipotle and the Chipotle-funded video was always there.
"We hired Frank to record a song for us, and he ended up walking away from that project," said Chipotle's Arnold. "We’d simply like for the money we paid to be returned."
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