Black Mirror's 'Joan is Awful' accused of 'ripping off' 2021 comedy sketch

Black Mirror's 'Joan is Awful' accused of 'ripping off' 2021 comedy sketch
Black Mirror new trailer

One of the new episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix is generating a lot of attention online – but some people are convinced they’ve seen the central conceit somewhere before.

Charlie Brooker’s much lauded series is back on the streaming platform for the first time in four years, and people have been discussing the new instalment 'Joan is Awful’.

It focuses on a character played by Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy named Joan. She’s a mid-level executive, who returns from the office after one particularly difficult day to find that her own experiences have been turned into a television show starring Salma Hayek without her knowledge.

It’s certainly an interesting premise for an episode, and some are comparing it to a sketch by comedy group 'Please Dont' Destroy' that blew up online a few years ago.

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The sketch focuses on performer Martin Herlihy, who finds that Netflix has made an entire documentary about him called “The Rise and Fall of Martin Herlihy”.

The documentary in the clip focuses on his very “normal” existence, much to the bemusement of him and his friends.

It features the man that used to bully him at school, as well as his mum, and it just happens to be directed by Spike Lee.

The inspired sketch went viral in 2021, and now people are pointing out the similarities between the two.

“The new black mirror”, one social media user wrote in a quote tweet.

“black mirror ripped this off and thought we wouldn’t notice,” another wrote.

Show creator Brooker recently revealed that he’s experimented with AI when writing the new series – albeit with underwhelming results.

He told Empire: “I’ve toyed around with ChatGPT a bit. The first thing I did was type ‘generate Black Mirror episode’ and it comes up with something that, at first glance, reads plausibly, but on second glance, is s***.

“Because all it’s done is look up all the synopses of Black Mirror episodes, and sort of mush them together. Then if you dig a bit more deeply you go, ‘oh, there’s not actually any real original thought here.’”

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