A producer of Netflix’s latest hit show, 1899, has responded to allegations that the series plagiarized a Brazilian graphic novel.
Author Mary Cagnin, from São Paulo, took a Chirping after the show was released on the streaming platform last week, she said she was shocked to see that 1899 features imagery very similar to her 2016 graphic novel Black Silence.
The show, which tells the story of a group of migrants traveling to Ellis Island aboard a steamboat in 1899, features the same triangle theme throughout the episode, similar to the illustrations in his novel.
Mary also accused the Netflix show of ripping details from its own story, including the deaths of some of its characters. She claims that Netflix did not contact her about using her artwork without permission.
However, several people who have seen the show and read his novel have said that the pyramid and triangle theme is where the similarities between the two stop.
In a now-deleted post, producer Jantje Friese defended 1899 against the Instagram claims, saying Mary was “crying wolf” and that the series wasn’t based on any pre-existing material.
Femail has reached out to Netflix for comment.
Author Mary Cagnin took to Twitter after the show was released on the streaming platform last week, saying she was shocked to see 1899 featured imagery very similar to her 2016 graphic novel Black Silence (right)
The show, which tells the story of a group of migrants traveling to Ellis Island aboard a steamboat in 1899, sports the same triangle theme throughout the episode which is similar to the triangles that appear in his novel and puts on display a mysterious black pyramid
The black pyramid that Mary drew for her graphic novel, published in Brazil in 2016
Mary took to Twitter last Sunday to share her shock after 1899 was released on Netflix last week.
‘I AM SHOCKED. The day I found out that the 1899 series is just IDENTICAL to my comic Black Silence, published in 2016. Follow the thread,” he said, before listing several examples that he felt demonstrated his point of view.
“It’s all there: the Black Pyramid. The deaths inside the vessel/vessel. The multinational crew. The seemingly strange and inexplicable things. Symbols in the eyes and when they appear,” she continued.
He shared a screenshot from his graphic novel alongside some of the publicity materials for the Netflix show, pointing out that the 1899 characters have the same triangle-shaped pupils his characters sport in his novel.
Mary said she advertised in Europe at a book fair in Sweden in 2017, where she brought the manuscript and its English version with her
1899 was an instant hit with moviegoers when it was released last week, but is now the subject of the plagiarism controversy
He also referred to the appearance of a mysterious pyramid back in 1899, which is again similar to a black pyramid that appears in his novel.
Mary also felt that Netflix copied some subtle plot details that appear in her work, concerning the backstories of some characters and their families.
The author said her original idea could have been disseminated at Sweden’s 2017 Gothenburg Book Fair, where she distributed the manuscript and its English version to several publishers and other attendees.
The author shared a screenshot of scenes from her graphic novel that she thought were similar to the Netflix show, including a character plummeting to his death
A character also dies from the steamboat in Netflix’s 1899, which was pointed out by Mary and her fans
The author added that she was “heartbroken” believing her work was being used in this way and that she was “criing a lot” over the matter.
He went on to say: ‘Black Silence is a short work, almost a short story. It’s very easy, in 12 hours of screening of the series, to dilute all these ‘references’, but the essence of what I created is there.’
His thread has been shared by fans of his work on the social media platform, with many believing the similarities between his work and the Netflix show are “not accidental.”
One wrote, “New Netflix show ‘1899’ just stole a Brazilian comic called Black Silence
Mary shared another screenshot from both 1899 and Black Silence where the female characters wear a similar helmet
Fans shared Mary’s claims on Twitter, saying there are too many similarities between the two works for it to be a coincidence
Meanwhile, 1899 producer Jantje Friese addressed the claims on her Instagram account, which has since been deleted.
He wrote: ‘A Brazilian artist claimed we stole from his graphic novel. To clarify: we didn’t! Until yesterday, we didn’t even know that graphic novel existed.
‘In two years we have put pain, sweat and weariness into the creation of 1899. This is an original idea and not based on any original material. However we have been bombarded with messages, some of them nasty and offensive.
‘Someone cries wolf and everyone jumps on it, not even checking if the claims make sense.
“Obviously this is supposed to be a scheme to outsell his graphic novels: well acted,” he added.
Many people who have read Black Silence and watched 1899 have said that there are limited similarities between the two
Several people on Twitter also came to the show’s defense and claimed that the storyline of Black Silence and 1899 were very different.
‘There is no Kerboros ship in Black Silence. There is no discussion of the human mind/reality’, said one.
The same person said that Netflix approved 1899 in February 2016, which has not been confirmed.
“I can’t believe 1899 is accused of plagiarism. The other story, “Black Silence” is literally a generic “crew paranoia” “Sci-Fi spaceship story in the vein of Event Horizon or Sun, including a pyramid. One of the major themes of 1899 is touched upon,” he said another.
‘You should all read the comic and watch the show before drawing any conclusions. This comic is not about a simulation or ships at all. And 1899 has yet to mention aliens,’ said one.
“So many people are quoting the 1899 tweet and Black Silence claims he plagiarized his story and… no real evidence other than a couple of comic strips. Just from the summaries the stories are very different,” wrote another .
Janjte Friese, who produced 1899, defended his work on Instagram and said the series was an original idea based on no source material