Selena Gomez has spent the past five days driving her fans up the wall.
The singer has been teasing stills from her music video “Back to You,” which is heavy on the subtitles and stars an eyebrow-raising cast of characters (hello, Justin Bieber lookalike).
Even so, as more and more people saw the stills and then the video itself, which debuted Tuesday, a pattern began to emerge: Fans said that the video looked awfully similar to the work of another artist.
Some have pointed out that the style of Gomez’s video—including the lighting, the subtitles, and the coloring—looks too much like Sarah Bahbah’s work. The Instagram-favorite artist frequently overlays text on her images, and some of Bahbah’s fans have argued that the aesthetic of Gomez’s video is almost identical.
Undoubtedly, comparisons were drawn, but is it an outright ripoff? Depends on who you ask.
Some think the similarities between the video and Bahbah’s work might be crossing a line.
Others are firmly in Gomez’s corner, pointing out that subtitles alone are a flimsy defense, pointing to the “tumblr aesthetic” as the true origin of the subtitled images. (In addition to, you know, films.)
InStyle reached out to Bahbah herself to see if she thinks the talk has any clout, but while she hasn’t responded or given any public statements, she’s well aware of it. Insider reports that Bahbah posted a photo on her Instagram story acknowledging all the comments she’s seen about the accusations.
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“how many people already sent this to you?” someone wrote to her, attaching one of Gomez’s Instagrams.
Bahbah’s answer? “I’m going to say well over 2000 at this point.”
Who knew “Back to You”‘s video style would be more scandalous than the Bieber-esque model?