Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold takes a look at the way product placement has cheapened artistic integrity, but the film may be guilty of greater sins than just selling out to pomegranate juice. Houston-based duo The Art Guys has accused Spurlock of plagiarizing its late-’90s project SUITS: The Clothes Make The Man, a performance piece that found the two traversing the U.S. convincing companies to purchase advertising space on their Todd Oldham suits a la race car drivers—in other words, a markedly similar concept to Spurlock’s film (and subsequent promotional appearances), which also finds him wearing a suit adorned with corporate logos.
As reported on MediaBistro, The Art Guys aren’t convinced it’s just a coincidence, saying, “There is no doubt that Spurlock has plagiarized the idea,” pointing out the wide availability of information on their project—including numerous print and television reports, a documentary, a book sold through Amazon, and even a CBS News interview, portions of which they say are repeated "almost word for word" in Spurlock's own recent CBS appearance—and the fact that Spurlock’s credited “archivist” on his project should have discovered their work through even “a cursory search on Google.” The Art Guys say they are still deciding what sort of action to take; Spurlock has yet to respond to the accusation.
UPDATE: We got in touch with Spurlock, who had this to say: "It’s preposterous. I never even heard of these guys until today, and all of their claims are baseless. Looks like we both had an idea to mimic what’s been happening in stock racing for the last 40 years. And last time I checked, merely having appeared on the same television network at some point in its broadcast history is not exactly an argument for plagiarism."
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