Is Ariana Grande’s New Video A Rip-Off of Aussie Band SAFIA?

There are some stark similarities between the two clips.

Nastassia Baroniby Nastassia Baroni
Image: Facebook

US pop star Ariana Grande and Canberra band SAFIA have today been caught up in a music video controversy, sparked when the Canberra electro-indie three-piece noticed some stark similarities between Grande’s new “One Last Time” video and their own 2014 video for “You Are The One”.

SAFIA took to Facebook overnight to point out the similarities between the two clips, including their introductions, colour schemes, storylines and conclusions. “This might just be coincidence but to us it looks like either the people at Ariana Grande’s label or the film maker have seen our clip for ‘You Are The One’ & reworked the concept a little bit and then straight up stolen and copied some bits…(ESPECIALLY THE END!),” SAFIA wrote.

“Wouldn’t be the first time uncreative talentless fucks from big labels and/or big film firms steal ideas from small independent creatives who are trying really hard to make something different for a change.”

Jimmy Ennett, the director of the SAFIA’s “You Are The One” video, has also noted the similarities between the two videos, telling Music Feeds that “the whole apocalypse thing is not an original idea by any stretch… But I think it’s more about the specific composition, that’s where it can get very sketchy”.

“There’s a million ways to do an idea,” he added. “A lot of those ideas are very similar. A number of specific choices we made…”

Director of Grande’s “One Last Time” video clip Max Landis, the son of film director John Landis, took to Twitter today to defend his work, rejecting the idea that any of it was copied while also pointing out the similarities between SAFIA’s video and the clip for “Fallopian Tube Screamer” by Perth band Injured Ninja.

“Holy shit the collective unconscious is fuckin scary,” Landis wrote on Twitter. “These videos are very similar. slow mo, one take, running, purple sky,” he wrote. “It’s almost like like tropes and themes are repeated constantly throughout fiction. Guys, calm down.”

Injured Ninja also joined the debate, writing on Facebook that, “SAFIA should chill the fuck out about Ariana Grande. Everyone likes one shot end of the world videos – you aren’t special folks.”

Landis said SAFIA “were very cool about it” when he spoke to them about the situation but also tweeted, “Protip: don’t accuse someone of stealing for having similar tropes if you REALLY ACTUALLY STOLE YOUR VIDEO YOU’RE ACCUSING THEM OF STEALING.” He later added that the lesson to be learnt is, “Don’t publicly accuse people of creative theft.”

Jimmy Ennett said before making the SAFIA clip he “googled the crap” out of the concept and the Injured Ninja clip never came up. If he had seen it, he said he would have made some different choices. “I understand the position if in someway it was an absolute coincidence but none of the shot compositions in that other video were the same as ours whereas in Max Landis’ one, it’s very similar,” he said.

“I know SAFIA aren’t huge by any means but that clips had close to 100,000 views. It would be a little bit more in the consciousness as far as google page views.”

Still he thinks things might not be all bad for the Canberra three-piece. “Ariana Grande’s make-up budget on that video was probably three times our budget so at the end of the day I don’t mind that more people are going to look at it and even if they are tweens leaving really hateful comments then that’s ok.”

Watch the three videos below and judge for yourselves.

Watch: Ariana Grande – One Last Time

Watch: SAFIA – You Are The One

Watch: Injured Ninja – Fallopian Tube Screamer