An artist has accused singer Miley Cyrus of copying her artwork without giving proper credit.
After Cyrus released promotional images for her recently released EP, She Is Coming — an appetizer for fans before her upcoming album, She Is Miley Cyrus — people began pointing out that the video clips she used, which showcase someone's fingers intimately caressing various fruits, looked suspiciously similar to work that artist Stephanie Sarley has done for years.
"Disgusted," Sarley told BuzzFeed News, is how she felt when she saw Cyrus's promo images. "It’s like my entire thing."
"She looks lame as hell carbon copying me, looking like a doppelgänger when she’s a gigantic pop star, and I’m out here as a real artist working at this shit every day with visibility and working for years building my art following and having faced adversity over it," she said.
Sarley, a 30-year-old living in Berkeley, does freelance art in the entertainment industry to make ends meet. She said she first noticed her work may have been copied without proper credit after being tipped off by followers. Sarley said she went to Cyrus's Instagram page and thought it was "very apparent that what they did to me was super deliberate."
Cyrus's post, seen above, looks strikingly similar to several of the "food porn" videos and photos Sarley has been posting on Instagram since at least 2016 (though the artist has been experimenting with food as art since 2014, she said).
Though Cyrus's video uses three different types of fruits being fingered seductively, the execution is seemingly very much in line with the work Sarley has produced, seen below.
Sarley said she was "upset" with what Cyrus and her team have done because it "directly chips away at [her] livelihood and ability to feel creative openness at times while dealing with it."
"It’s painful to see your actual art and expressions and concepts just completely plagiarized," she said. "Just for money. For clout. It’s jaw-dropping. You think, Why me? It makes you sick inside."
According to Sarley, no one from Cyrus's team has reached out to her.
She also suspects someone may be deleting comments from under the star's posts alleging plagiarism, but BuzzFeed News observed several critical comments on both Instagram and Twitter.
Representatives for Cyrus did not respond to BuzzFeed News' inquiries.
Sarley said she's "upset with the industry," adding that she wasn't alone in "being ripped off."
"This is a systemic problem where creative teams are robbing artists of their work for quick cash," she said. "Like it’s not already hard enough for artists to find their way."