Did ‘Fairly OddParents’ Creator Butch Hartman Plagiarize Another Artist’s Fanart for Money?
Butch Hartman has been accused of plagiarizing a Japanese artist from Twitter.
On Saturday (Feb. 23), Hartman, the creator of hit Nickelodeon cartoon series' The Fairly Odd Parents and Danny Phantom, posted a commissioned drawing of Mikasa Ackerman, a character from Attack on Titan.
Fans accused Hartman of tracing a piece of Mikasa fanart from a Japanese artist known as @028ton on Twitter.
The original drawing by @028ton, drawn in 2018, quickly garnered over 90 thousand likes and 20 thousand retweets, as fans, followers and fellow artists rallied to raise awareness of Hartman’s allegedly copied commissioned work. Commissioned artwork from Hartman can be purchased on his website for upwards of $200.
“I have received a report that my fan art has been plagiarized. I checked the tweets and found many similarities to my work. In addition, there was a possibility that money was being made, so I am urgently alerting you to this,” @028ton wrote on Twitter. “They do not have permission to use the illustrations. If you see any products using the same artwork in the future, please do not purchase them.”
Hartman has not yet responded to the allegations.
This is hardly Hartman's first controversy. The animator and showrunner has spent the past three years dealing with controversies related to his Kickstarter campaign for OAXIS Entertainment, which he described as a "family-friendly" alternative to streaming services.
Hartman was accused of misleading supporters of OAXIS by not including on the Kickstarter that the company would have a religious-affiliation. A video surfaced of Hartman speaking at a Christian conference where he stated, “We're going to save families and speak to them in parables. My stuff has got to be hip to reach the secular people,” when describing OAXIS.
The animator also came under fire for comments he made minimizing mental health, blaming modern media for mental illness and suicide.
Hartman left Nickelodeon in 2018 and has since moved onto YouTube to become an independent creator.