If new streaming service Quibi’s show “Memory Hole” looks familiar to you, you’re not alone. According to the video and performance collective Everything Is Terrible (EIT!), which has been around since 2007, Quibi’s show bears more than a coincidental resemblance to its 2014 show by the same name. In a tweet earlier today, EIT! accused Quibi and the show’s creator, Scott Vrooman, of not only ripping off the name of EIT!’s show, but also copying the same red grid background from its original logo.
Additionally, EIT! posted a screenshot of Scott Vrooman responding to a comment on Instagram, saying that Quibi’s “Memory Hole” was his own creation. According to EIT!, that comment has since been deleted.
In a statement provided to Gizmodo, EIT! said:
Our found footage project, called Memory Hole was launched in 2014. It takes home videos, mostly VHS, and remixes it into horror. Quibi is launching a series called Memory Hole that apparently takes 80s VHS footage and remixes it/adds commentary. The name in itself is one thing, but their set design/title treatments is a blatant ripoff of Everything Is Terrible!’s aesthetic. Our original project, Everything Is Terrible!, which was started in 2007, takes 80's/90's VHS/DVD footage and remixes it. Our commentary in both projects is not through a host, but rather through editing. The logo of ours I attached is from 2008/9. Obviously, found video clips are up for grabs as far as remixing/commentary goes, but there seems to be some overlap in that department also. The fact that they made a “new” show in the found footage genre, took the look of one of our projects, and combined it with the name of another one of ours tells me this isn’t just a coincidence.
This isn’t the first time Quibi has landed in hot water, even though it didn’t launch until today. Last month, interactive video company Eko accused Quibi of stealing its orientation-based video patent; called Turnstyle, one of Quibi’s main features allows viewers to physically change the orientation of their phone to see a completely different perspective or shot.
Gizmodo reviewed Quibi’s launch slate of shows, and we actually like some of them, except we wish we could watch the shows on a device other than a smartphone.
Gizmodo also reached out to Quibi and Vrooman, but we have yet to receive an official response. We’ll update this article if/when we do.
Update (10:28 PM ET): Shout! Factory, the entertainment company behind “Memory Hole” on Quibi, issued a statement on Twitter: “Memory Hole” is an original show. The name of the show was inspired by George Orwell’s “1984,” and the graphics are based on generic retro ‘80s arcade games. Anything that suggests otherwise is not true. We stand by our work.”