Recent Dramas Accused of Plagiarism for Different Reasons

Who is the Murderer Poster
Who is the Murderer Poster

Even before making its official debut on December 5, the series Who is the Murderer 谁是凶手 was caught in plagiarism accusations after Netizens pointed out the uncanny similarities between its promo posters to those from the Japanese 2012 courtroom drama Legal High.

Posters from Zhao Liying, Xiao Yang and Dong Zijian’s latest whodunit feature a “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” theme, according to the company who developed the show’s posters. But although they claim that any similarities between WitM’s posters with that of the earlier posters from Masato Sakai and Yui Aragaki’s legal drama are in no way intentional, the creative concept and photography between the posters do indeed bear striking similarities.

a side by side of posters from Who is the Murderer and Legal High
a side by side of posters from Who is the Murderer and Legal High

In a recent statement, the design company apologised for their negligence and took down the relevant posters from the show’s promotional channels. “Working in the cultural industry, we have always respected creators and have a strong sense of copyright. Now that we have caused trouble for our colleagues in the industry, it is indeed because of our negligence in our work.” The company also apologised to the WitM crew and to audiences for their oversight.

Another Case of Negligence

Meanwhile, Who is the Murder is not the only one hit with accusations of plagiarism as Huang Xuan, Wang Yibo and Victoria Song’s Luoyang which premiered on December 1 was also accused of featuring a plagiarized embroidered fan in its wedding scenes. On the show’s third episode, Wang Yibo and Song Yi’s characters marry and it was during their wedding ceremony that Song Yi’s character Liu Ran holds up an exquisitely embroidered red fan. Turns out the design of the red fan was copied from the work of an artist named Jia Ran who protested against Luoyang’s unsanctioned use of the original design on the show.

Photo: Jiaran / Weibo

However it appears both the show and the artist were able to work things out and reach a settlement quickly. In their apology posted on the show’s official page, Luoyang’s crew apologised for their negligence and said they will be purchasing two fans from Jia Ran. They will be raffling them off to the show’s audience to share the beauty of Chinese culture to everyone.

As for Jia Ran, it appears the artist is very much willing to let bygones be bygones, preferring instead to focus on growing towards a better direction. The artist also acknowledged the sincerity of the crew’s apology.   

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