For a show that’s already had to deal with plagiarism allegations in the past, you would think that the next step would be to exercise extra caution, right? Wrong.
The long-running Chinese sitcom iPartment 5 drew ire for ripping off somebody else’s hard work yet again. After their January 12 broadcast aired, there were complaints that in episode 8, exactly 39 minutes and 20 seconds in, were sketches similar to the works of popular gaming vlogger Old Tomato 老番茄.
iPartment5’s production team and director Wei Zheng released a statement on January 15 to address the concerns and issue a letter of apology. They conducted an internal investigation regarding the matter and found out that due to some oversight, they had used Old Tomato’s drawings as basis for the props that they used in the scene. They expressed their apology and mentioned that they had already reached out to Old Tomato and his team, made some changes to the scene and uploaded it on January 15.
Normally, I’d say people should let this go but with the drama’s reputation of taking ideas from American sitcoms, I understand why many people would feel that this mistake is like the final nail in the coffin. Although, I must say kudos to the team for owning up to their mistake for once because in the past, they have never admitted to the accusations of plagiarizing and instead reasoned that they were merely paying homage to the well-loved sitcoms.