Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater! Netflix is in hot water after being accused of copying Ziwe Fumudoh’s Showtime talk show.
Known for her awkward segues and hot pink aesthetic, Fumudoh has created a unique tone for her program, which was recently canceled after two seasons.
While many television shows and movies have found inspiration from its predecessors, there is an uncanny resemblance between Ziwe and Netflix India’s Not-So-Awkward interviews – with no source attribution in sight.
Comedian and Abbott Elementary writer Brittani Nichols drew attention to the similarities in a viral tweet, writing, “This is NUTS. I’m enraged on Ziwe’s behalf. @netflix should be ashamed.”
Nicols included screenshots from both productions.
Immediately, people in the comment section sided with Nichols and listed several examples, ranging from the set design to the interview style.
Now, this isn’t to say that Fumudoh owns the color pink or the Instagrammable decor littering her set, or even the awkward-interviewer persona. However, for a new program to have those features combined with a similar format – which includes abrupt topic changes, elongated moments of silence and a combination of cultural commentary and personal conversations – is a bit slimy. Even more so now that Fumudoh’s show has been canceled.
Not-So-Awkward host Aishwarya Mohanraj also imitates Fumudoh’s interview style, making exaggerated and self-obsessed comments while chatting with her subject. At one point in the interview, Mohanraj offers to be her subject’s bridesmaid, claims to be the inspiration behind her movie and encourages her subject to keep in touch.
Similar to Ziwe, the subject responds by looking confused into the camera repeatedly throughout the interview.
Fumudoh seemingly commented on the viral tweet via her Instagram Stories by sharing screenshots from the Not-So-Awkward interview and her own work, and writing “lol.” The comedian followed those posts with a screenshot from an episode of Ziwe with the subtitles reading, “Stares in Black girl confusion.”
In another set of posts, Fumudoh shared two reels from Netflix India and then an image of herself wearing an African kufi cap on a recent episode of Ziwe. On the Twitter post, several people have slammed Netflix for stealing from a Black creator.
One wrote, “They stole a show from a black creator calling out systemic issues? They just proved the whole point of her show.” Another echoed, “I’m not American so I was really confused. Like, ‘What’s the problem? They have an US version and an Indian version of the show.’ Then I looked it up. Wow, they have no shame.”
Decider has reached out to Showtime, Netflix, and Fumudoh’s reps for comment, but did not hear back by the time of publication.