YouTuber Joel Haver Speaks out After 'SNL' Seemingly Ripped off His Video

YouTube creator Joel Haver responded to fans who believe Saturday Night Live plagiarized his "Toilet Paper Bears" short film during the Season 48 premiere over the weekend. SNL's "Charmin Bears" sketch had a very similar plot to Haver's animated short, as they both centered on a bear's desire to do more than just butt wiping. Haver found the similarities "pretty alarming," but he also believes it may have been entirely coincidental.

Haver published his animated film in July. His film centers on a family of blue bears, with a son who wants to go to college instead of following his parents into the family business of butt wiping. In the SNL sketch, there is also a family of blue bears with a son who wants to do something different. SNL had the son character, played by guest host Miles Teller, dream of becoming a dancer. The SNL version goes a bit further than Haver's, as Teller's character is able to convince his dad to let him learn a different skill after showing off his dance moves with another bear played by Bowen Yang.

After the sketch aired, Haver's fans almost immediately took to social media to call out SNL for "stealing" his jokes. On Monday, Haver responded with a surprisingly laid-back attitude. Although he did find it strange, he does not think it was a malicious move by the SNL writers.

"When it comes to these stealing accusations, I always err on the side of coincidence. I think parallel thinking does happen more often than not," Haver said. "When it comes to the Charmin bears thing, there's a lot of coincidences that would have to line up to make it truly a coincidence, but I don't think it was malicious. It was either a subconscious borrowing from somebody on their writers' staff who saw my video, or it was a wild coincidence."

Haver is already an established YouTube star with over 1.69 million subscribers. If he was an up-and-comer, Haver said he would feel differently. "If I still was a smaller creator, which I was for a long time, I could see it rubbing me the wrong way and me being a little more likely to believe they did steal it," he explained. "I have to recognize I'm in a position to not be bothered by it."


SNL has not publicly addressed the situation, but a source close to the show told Entertainment Weekly the "Charmin Bears" sketch writer was unaware of Haver's work. SNL airs on NBC Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. Actor Brendan Gleeson and singer Willow Smith will guest star this weekend.