Jonathan Coulton Accuses Glee of Copying "Baby Got Back" Cover

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Jonathan Coulton Accuses <i>Glee</i> of Copying "Baby Got Back" Cover

Since its premiere, the Fox musical/dramedy Glee has never been a show immune to criticism, whether regarding its content or its quality. Yet, when said criticisms stop being about the show’s writing or musical choices and move into the “plagiarism” territory, that’s when things start getting severe.

On an upcoming episode, the show’s characters participate in a cover of rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” which sees the infamous single about the female derriere transformed into a mellow guitar ditty. For geek-friendly musician Jonathon Coulton, this version sounded much too familiar.

In a tweet posted early this morning, Coulton accused the show of aping his own 2005 cover of the song, which follows almost the exact same arrangement.

“After listening, I think that ?@GLEEonFOX may have even used parts of my recording,” Coulton writes. “Do I hear a duck quack? And of course they say ‘Johnny C’” [referring to the point where the cast copies Coulton’s own name drop— “Johnny C.’s in trouble”— in his version].

So is the megahit Fox series guilty? Listen to the two versions below and decide for yourself.

First, Coulton’s original:

Now, the Glee version: