Billie Eilish's 'bad guy' music video is being accused of plagiarism

1 April 2019, 16:20

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

The director behind the music video, Dave Meyers, has previously been called out for plagiarism in his work with Ariana Grande and Kendrick Lamar.

We know it's only April but it's safe to say that Billie Eilish just dropped one of the best albums of the year. WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? was released on March 29 and fans are already losing it over the tracks on the record, especially the meaning behind 'ilomilo' and the spicy lyrics of 'bad guy'.

But the 'bad guy' music video - which dropped on the same day as the album release - is now copping a bit of backlash after fans noticed that the entire thing looks like it's been plagiarised from a series of photos.

According to a thread on r/popheads, Billie's fans are accusing Dave Meyers, the director of the video, of ripping off a photo series by artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari for their magazine, Toiletpaper.

A number of visual elements from the video are similar or almost the same as Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari's artwork for Toiletpaper magazine. From the colour schemes to the overall cinematography of the video, there's a lot that strikes a very very strong similarity to the photos.

The director of Billie Eilish's 'bad guy' video is under fire for plagiarism
The director of Billie Eilish's 'bad guy' video is under fire for plagiarism. Picture: Darkroom/Interscope

Below are two shots from Cattelan and Ferrari's portfolio, followed by two screenshots from Billie's music video.

The video also contains shots of some scraped knees, a man lying on the ground with pigeons walking over him, and the torsos of three men wearing block colour shirts standing a row - all of which feature in Cattelan and Ferrari's work.

Reddit user whoatemyteeth also listed a few more visual similarities that you can view here.

Fans on Reddit have also pulled up images from Golf Wang GOLF le FLEUR* campaign (a leg smashing through a yellow paper background) and Young Thug's 'Wyclef Jean' music video that are also very similar to a few shots in the video.

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Billie Eilish's bad guy video is being accused of plagiarism
Billie Eilish's bad guy video is being accused of plagiarism. Picture: Darkroom/Interscope

It's not the first time this has happened in regards to a music video that Meyers has directed.

Meyers is a Grammy Award winner credited for making "the greatest videos of all time". He has a history of getting pulled up on his visuals. Back in 2018, he caught some backlash from two artists over the videos for Kendrick Lamar's 'All The Stars' ft. SZA and Ariana Grande's 'God is a woman'. The case involving Kendrick Lamar ended up in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by artist Lina Iris Viktor. It was later dismissed in court.

According to reddit user willcandy, who messaged ToiletPaper magazine's Instagram to let them know about the video, said the mag responded saying that they had no idea about the music video.

"Actually we didn't know about that video...and nobody from that project tried to contact us. Surely we will check how and why it happened" they wrote in response.

Neither Billie nor Dave Meyers have responded to the claims.