Members of Canberra's indie/electronica group SAFIA were drawn to its thematic similarities with their own clip, "You Are The One," which was directed by Jimmy Ennett from Crux Media and posted to YouTube last September. The Aussie video opens with static and a brief argument, after which a young woman leaves a car and runs through panicked streets as meteors rain down from purple skies. As the promo reaches its climax, the couple who had argued earlier find the time for a final embrace as the planet takes a pummelling.
SAFIA, comprised of Ben Woolner, Michael Bell and Harry Sayers, took issue with Ariana's clip, which the band members said had "reworked the concept a little bit and then straight up stolen and copied some bits." In a Facebook page, the band wrote, "This might just be coincidence but to us it looks like either the people at Ariana Grande's label or the film maker have seen our clip for 'You Are The One' & reworked the concept a little bit and then straight up stolen and copied some bits...(ESPECIALLY THE END!)." The message continues, "Wouldn't be the first time uncreative talentless fucks from big labels and/or big film firms steal ideas from small independent creatives who are trying really hard to make something different for a change."
A subsequent post compared screengrabs from the finale of both videos, with the message: "YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE SAF! IT'S ONNNNN!"
On Wednesday, after reportedly receiving death threats via social media, the group changed it tone. The battle is now off. It's been a "really weird 72 hours and things have escalated very quickly regarding the Ariana Grande video situation," the new post reads adding that "there's no way of ever proving whether Ariana's clip was influenced by 'You Are The One' and it genuinely may have just been a coincidence." The band members continue: "We're not after Ariana, Max or their label either, we were simply voicing our concerns in what is sometimes a common occurrence in the music industry."
Landis responded to the claims on Twitter, noting the similarity but also saying plenty of other shots are similar too.
UPDATE: After this article was published, we added tweets from Ariana Grande's video director, Max Landis.