Melbourne performance art couple The Huxleys have called out The Masked Singer Australia for alleged plagiarism after the celebrity singing show used costumes that looked alarmingly like designs the duo created years ago.
Will Huxley took to Instagram this morning to point out the stark similarities between the lip-headed costumes on Masked Singer and the Double Fantasy costumes that he and Garrett Huxley created for their performance art back in 2015.
For comparison, here are the costumes that featured on Masked Singer this week.
Speaking with PEDESTRIAN.TV, Will said that neither Network 10 nor Warner Bros, which produces The Masked Singer, reached out to them about design or costuming, but would have been open to working with the show, given the opportunity.
“With their budgets, it would be lovely if they could engage artists and creatives to work with them on designs or even ask us to perform on the show,” Will said.
“Even if we said no it would still be the right thing to do rather than just taking the look and not crediting the inspiration.”
Will told us that he and Garrett created the lip-headed costumes in 2015 for their work in underground queer events and festivals, and as their following expanded it saw them perform at the NGV in Melbourne, Dark Mofo in Hobart, and Melbourne Festival. He said that these particular costumes were also featured in Melbourne Fashion Week and used as part of a 2018 Vogue Living spread about their lives and work in the Australian queer arts scene.
Will also told us that he and Garrett have been in corporate meetings where mood boards are presented with images and designs that end up being taken and used without permission.
“We’ve done corporate gigs before and sat in on meetings when they present mood boards and you see they just rip ideas from Instagram and all over the place,” he said.
“They just use that as inspiration and almost present it as if it’s their own ideas. I understand that process but you always should aim to make something unique and not just copy.”
Will said it was particularly hard to see this behaviour now, considering their work has essentially halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions. As independent artists, he and Garrett just want to see their work acknowledged and respected.
He said he has not yet been contacted by either Network 10 nor Warner Bros. Neither organisation has responded to requests for comments from PEDESTRIAN.TV.