YouTuber Joel Haver was thrust into the headlines this weekend when Saturday Night Live released a sketch that bore a striking resemblance to one of his animated videos released months earlier. Now, he has taken to YouTube, in a video called "SNL Stole My Video," but a fairly conciliatory message, saying that he doesn't believe there was any ill intent, and that it was likely either an unconscious reuse of the concept, or a genuine coincidence. Still, he points out that they are so incredibly similar that there would have to be a lot of factors lining up perfectly to make it a real coincidence.
Haver acknowledged that one of his recent videos had been called out by fans as reusing a punchline from a years-old video by another YouTuber -- one he says he had never seen before coming up with his concept. Over at EW, they say that a Saturday Night Live rep told them the writer of the Charmin Bears sketch also says he never saw Haver's.
"When it comes to these stealing accusations, I always err on the side of coincidence," Haver said in his video response. "I think parallel thinking does happen more often than not."
He continued, "When it comes to the Charmin bears thing, there's a lot of coincidences that would have to line up to make it truly a coincidence, but I don't think it was malicious. It was either a subconscious borrowing from somebody on their writers' staff who saw my video, or it was a wild coincidence."
Haver then went on to use both his larger platform and the attention that the sketch has brought him to shine a spotlight on some smaller creators he is enjoying on YouTube now, saying essentially that now that he's got over a million subscribers and is doing well on the platform, it's easy not to be upset by the situation -- but in the past, when he was a struggling creator with a smaller audience, he admits it probably would have gotten to him.
In the video, a family of blue anthropomorphic bears inspired by the Charmin toilet paper ad campaign have a conflict. The father and son argue, because the son wants to go to college for dance, rather than continuing the family tradition of being a toilet paper bear. And yes, each of those details holds true for each of the two videos in question.
Saturday Night Live Season 48 will continue on Saturday October 8th at 11:30p.m. ET on NBC. Domhall Gleeson will be hosting with Willow Smith serving as the musical guest.