In celebration of their 25th Anniversary Sony Japan put together a music video combining original animation with scenes from popular and upcoming games releasing on the Playstation 4. Shortly after the commercial’s release views began noticing animation contained scenes that were tracings of other animated works.
— ianjq (@ianjq) December 4, 2019
Also nice job ripping off from FLCL as well! pic.twitter.com/NJIUatIrXN
— – ̗̀ Kittyfries ̖́- 🗡 (@Kittyfries9) December 4, 2019
Eventually it was determined nearly the entire length of the original animation in the music video had been traced from other anime, movies, and even cartoons. Aside from the visual aesthetics of the animation, little appears to be original content.
In response Sony Japan went silent and took the video containing the traced animation down. Once something is on the internet it becomes eternal, though, so other channels have begun re-uploading the video. Only to be punished for their good deed by receiving anger meant for Sony as many fail to bother to see which upload they are commenting on and downvoting.
Where the story appears to get its villain is a blog on Playstation Japan, where it lists award winning animator Kevin Bao as responsible for the commercial. As the blog has been taken down it is not possible to determine what was specifically said, but either he directed the commercial or he was the animator on the commercial.
Mr. Bao’s former employer, Eallin Animations and Eallin Japan, came under scrutiny and proceeded to handle the issue as any professional company should. After launching and investigation into the matter and reaching out to the potential offender they issued a statement that they were looking into the issue and had ceased any representation of Mr. Bao.
We had no knowledge that the work produced by Kevin Bao was plagiarized. We have ceased with immediate effect any representation of Kevin Boa’s work and have contacted Kevin for a response.
— Eallin Animation (@EallinAnimation) December 4, 2019
Following their quick response the company underwent several days of investigation to determine if any of the work produced for them by Mr. Bao had also been plagiarized along with if he was in fact guilty of the accusations against him. During this period of investigation many outlets falsely began asserting Eallin Animations had woredk on the project for Playstation, which was blatantly a false statement any level of journalistic integrity could have resolved as the individual hadn’t work with the company since 2017.
At this moment it does not appear that any of the content he developed under the employ of Eallin was plagiarized from other sources.
Concerning News About Us From Some Media Outlets pic.twitter.com/UDkyqOfsMw
— Eallin Japan/イアリン (@eallinjp) December 5, 2019
Concerning News About Us From Media Outlets
There have been some articles and post son the internet recently implying that our company was involved in the works of a man who had purportedly taken part in plagiarizing the works of others.
These reports that we were involved in the specific project, however, are patently false, and we were in no way involved with the reported works.
It is true that the reported individual was a member of Eallin Japan from 2016 to 2017, but he has long since left the company.
As such we are in no place to respond to any inquiries regarding this matter.
Further, as we are not a concerned party in this matter , we required time to carefully investigate this issue.
We offer our humble apologies to all concerned who’ve been harmed or had cause for alarm at the spread of this false information.
Regardless of the matter at hand, we will continue to respect creative works and those involved, foster an environment for its creation, and work in earnest to bring even more wonderful media to the world.
We hope that you will support us.
Eallin Motion Art
Set aside your pitchfork and torches for a moment. There can be little doubt blame falls on Sony, but another man may be being accused of that which he did not do. The prevailing narrative around this incident has been that Mr. Bao is guilty, but there is a good chance this may not be the case.
His actions in shutting down and making private his accounts can be explained not as a sign of a guilt, but as a reaction to a mob that has thus far cared not where he has been employed nor who has uploaded the video.
In November Sony announced the establishment of a new studio in Malaysia that would handle animation and art for Sony’s exclusives. Understand a lot of companies are capitalizing on the relatively cheap labor in Malaysia to improve profit margins; it has nothing to do with talent potential of the region.
It would make sense then that this Malaysian studio could have been tasked with the animation for the commercial by Sony Corporate. Given that Mr. Bao has had a long award winning career without a single accusation of plagiarism he would have no reason or even need to plagiarize other works. Lest of all to a reason to burn his career and reputation over a commercial.
Malaysia on the other had does have a history of “academic dishonesty” and plagiarism. Akin to the blatant plagiarism seen in the above trailer.
Until all the facts are in it would serve us greatly to not rush to judgment. Perhaps under a time crunch Mr. Bao buckled and committed a grave transgression against his own artistic integrity? Stronger men have succumbed to lesser pressure. Alternatively he may have simply become the target of an internet angry mob that snapped to a rushed judgment based on very limited information. Whichever the case until it has been confirmed to have the same weight as a duck, we don’t know it is a plagiarist.
(Thanks for the tip Ebicentre)