Selena Gomez recently took a break from her duties as the Executive Producer of Thirteen Reasons Why and recorded a new single, “Back To You” for the second season of the hit YA series. Releasing a video for “Back To You” on Tuesday, Gomez combined her background in music and acting for the silent film-inspired video, but some viewers are now accusing Gomez of drawing inspiration from artist Sarah Bahbah as well. The words ‘stealing’ and ‘copying’ are being used and it’s getting ugly.
Surprisingly, the music video about a show that depicts teen suicide and sexual assault is now the more controversial of the two visual mediums. We didn’t see that one coming.
In the video for “Back To You,” Gomez goes with a retro vibe and an Italian countryside setting, using captions based on the song’s lyrics to deliver the dialogue between Gomez and her male lead.
Viewers quickly began noting the similarities in Gomez’s “Back To You” with the Australian-born artist Bahbah’s work, which often features similar brightly hued visuals and captions.
Bahbah’s work has been featured in galleries across the United States and her Instagram account includes more than half a million followers, including celebrities like Katy Perry and Bella Thorne. She’s also worked with fashion house Gucci, with the Insider noting that Gomez’s close friend and “Bad Liar” director Petra Collins has also worked with Gucci. It’s possible that Gomez wasn’t aware of Bahbah’s work, and it’s possible that she may have simply inadvertently created a video similar in style.
Comments are split between the two women, with some arguing that Gomez should have collaborated with Bahbah and credited her for the look of “Back To You,” while others point out that neither artist invented the use of subtitles. Have you ever looked at a teen’s Tumblr account in 2009? They’re riddled in them. It isn’t novel.
but what everybody doesnt know u stole sarah bahbah’s style of photos & deleted her comment saying “lets work together next time” hm https://t.co/miBJiRnQsb
— me (@drwxlove) June 2, 2018
— emily (@emmevibe) June 2, 2018
selena is just gonna sit there and copy sarah bahbah’s work?
— بظ يطير (@simplysarz) June 2, 2018
— 🥀 (@illumigomez) June 5, 2018
— do you want to steal a car? (@ifiwereuiddome) June 6, 2018
Since when did that Sarah girl invented subtitles? I’ll wait. She isn’t the first person to use them and she won’t be the last
— ً (@feelmeonher) June 5, 2018
Neither Bahbah nor Gomez have directly commented on the controversy over “Back To You,” although Bahbah did post on her Instagram stories that she is well aware of people comparing Gomez’s latest music video to her art.