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Miley Cyrus Accused of Plagiarizing Fruit-Fingering Artist in New Video

Cyrus is also facing accusations of copying another Instagram artist's pro-choice cake for a Planned Parenthood campaign.

by Jelisa Castrodale
Jun 6 2019, 3:59pm

Last week, Miley Cyrus released “She Is Coming,” a six-song EP that she teased on Instagram with a number of short videos that showed her suggestively eating pieces of fruit, promoting her own toll-free phone number, and fingering even more fruit. Although all of her social media posts accumulate millions of views, the five-second clip where she lightly fingerblasts a melon has gotten some additional attention—especially after Cyrus was accused of copying an artist who is known for her own erotic fruit videos.

For the past three years, California-based multimedia artist Stephanie Sarley has gotten worldwide attention for her series of “Fruit Art Videos.” In addition to posting short clips for her 400,000-plus Instagram followers, her work has been discussed and deconstructed online (including on VICE), and it has appeared in magazine spreads and in museum collections. (When the Museum der Dinge in Berlin included her in its The Eroticism of Things exhibition, one French critic described her as “the inventor of fruit porn.”)

Sarley’s feed is filled with videos of her fingers penetrating the soft flesh of Meyer lemons, assorted melons, papayas, peaches, and kiwis, among others. (She even committed to prepping and roasting a butternut squash until it, too, was soft enough to be gently plowed by a root vegetable). So when Cyrus posted that EP-promo, Sarley’s supporters immediately started tagging her in the comments.

“People @ my name non-stop to her copy of my work,” Sarley told VICE in an email. “I’m being notified [with] countless DMs and stories about the copy.” She has not, however, been contacted by Cyrus, or any of her representatives.

But Becca Rea-Holloway did hear from Cyrus, after the musician was accused of ripping her off, too. On Tuesday, Cyrus posted a photo of herself licking a heavily sprinkled cake that had “Abortion IS Healthcare” written on it in soft pink icing. The post was to promote a collaboration between Marc Jacobs, her own Happy Hippie Foundation, and Planned Parenthood—but it was also unmistakably similar to a cake that Rea-Holloway had created for her own Instagram, The Sweet Feminist.

Like Sarley, Rea-Holloway learned about Cyrus’ post when her own followers started tagging her. “I was shocked,” she told Washingtonian. “You can tell it’s mine because it’s one of my early cakes—the ‘e’ kind of hangs off the side.”

After Rea-Holloway posted about the “direct theft” of her cake art, Cyrus responded in the comments section. “Hi, we saw the image online and didn’t realize it was yours. We will absolutely tag you for your work,” she wrote. “This image is not on the Marc Jacobs x Planned Parenthood hoodie we made to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood which I know is also close to your heart. It is just on the post and not on the merchandise but we will absolutely tag you and give you the credit for your art. If you could please correct your post, as we’re going to make sure you have all the credit you deserve... thanks for sharing your art and inspiring us.” (As of this writing, Cyrus has tagged @TheSweetFeminist in the photo itself, but has not changed the caption to mention either The Sweet Feminist or Rea-Holloway by name.)

Sarley has had to deal with plenty of internet drama before, including Instagram’s periodic suspension of her account, and the near-constant meme-ing of her work. (“Nomatter [sic] how many memes there are of this it will always remain my art,” she previously wrote.. “Nobody can take that from me.") Although Cyrus has… borrowed her concepts more than she’s just re-captioned them, Sarley remains similarly defiant.

“She can never take me from me,” she said. “Her videos are not compelling.”

This article originally appeared on VICE US.