Photographer Petra Collins has accused director Sam Levinson of ripping off her work to create the hit television show Euphoria.
When Euphoria first aired in 2019, the HBO show — that is directed by Levinson — quickly became known for its distinctive aesthetic.
However, Canadian photographer Collins is now accusing Levinson of stealing Euphoria’s aesthetic from her photography.
A Television Show Inspired by Her Photographs
According to screenshots from an interview with Hungarian outlet Punkt that were seen by The Daily Beast, Collins claimed that Levinson reached out to the agency that represents her prior to filming Euphoria.
Levinson explained that he had written Euphoria after being “inspired” by Collins’ photographs and approached her to direct the television show as her images formed the basis of the series.
Collins rose to prominence in the early 2010s for her emotional and dreamlike photographs which are shot on film. She has been credited by the Business of Fashion as “leading a new wave of female gaze-led photography.”
In the interview with Punkt in January, Collins alleges that she moved to Los Angeles and worked on Euphoria for about five months before being dropped by HBO for being “too young.”
“I moved to L.A. and worked for HBO for about five months,” Collins reportedly tells Punkt.
“I was like, ‘I am directing the show.’ I created a whole world for it, did the casting, whatever. [And at] the last minute, HBO was like, ‘We are not hiring you because you are too young.’”
A Photographer Left in Tears
The photographer says she was left in tears when she saw an identical “copy” of her work in the Euphoria television show produced by Levinson a year later.
“A year later, I walked out of my apartment and saw this billboard [for Euphoria], and it’s exactly… a copy of my work,” Collins tells Punkt
“I started crying. I was so shocked. I mean, it happens to me so many times in my career but not on a scale like that.”
Neither Levinson nor HBO responded to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment. However, a source close to Levinson denied Collins’ version of events, telling the publication that “It’s very widely known that Euphoria is a remake of an Israeli show.”
Image credits: Header photos licensed via Depositphotos.