Saturday Night Live has come under fire for allegedly plagiarizing a recent sketch that featured a Pictionary-style game show in which contestants refused to draw an image of Muhammad.
Canadian independent production company DHX Media claims that the “Picture Perfect” sketch was stolen almost verbatim from its own sketch comedy show, This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
“While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, DHX Media Ltd. takes infringement of its intellectual property very seriously,” the company’s executive chairman Michael Donovan told the Hollywood Reporter.
The skit in question features a mock game show in which contestants are asked to draw clues for their teammates to guess to win a million-dollar prize, and one of the clues turns out to be “The Prophet Muhammad.” In Saturday Night Live‘s version, cast members Bobby Moynihan and Kenan Thompson refuse to draw the image, but teammate Reese Witherspoon is still able to guess the correct answer.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes‘ version also features a $1 million dollar prize, and a baffled teammate is similarly able to guess the Muhammad clue despite nothing being drawn.
“This had happened a few times both ways but this is the closest I’ve ever seen,” This Hour Has 22 Minutes cast member Mark Critch wrote on Twitter.
Bobby Kerr, a co-writer with Critch, wrote “Sorry, but the Win, Lose or Draw sketch on 22 WAS original and brilliant. It wasn’t original when SNL did it.”
Check out both versions of the sketch below.