Channels like FOX are always rising to the challenge of creating new and engaging reality TV shows centered around the cutthroat world of professional chefs. Gordon Ramsay, known for being a powerhouse in the kitchen, currently hosts Next Level Chef, a competition series that brings chefs to three stories of wildly different kitchens to gauge how flexible competitors really are.
The show has already generated controversy for its similarities to a Spanish-language horror film called El Hoyo, or The Platform, on Netflix. Did Next Level Chef accidentally copy The Platform? Or are the similarities between the two less visible to non-horror fans? Here's what you need to know.
Did 'Next Level Chef' copy 'The Platform'?
The premise of Next Level Chef is relatively simple. Gordon Ramsay and co-hosts Nyesha Harrington and Richard Blais mentor their own teams. In each episode, the teams are assigned a different culinary task, with a twist: They are assigned to a new kitchen each time.
The top floor has the best kitchen, and the bottom floor has the least equipped. The point of this endeavor seems to prove that the best chefs can operate even without state-of-the-art tools or the best ingredients.
The Platform is an NC-17 Spanish-language horror film released on Netflix in March 2020. The setting of The Platform is a tower-like "Vertical Self-Management Center" that houses prisoners who are swapped around every month between the floors. Residents of this center eat via a platform that is filled with food on the top floor and gradually descends, so those on higher floors can eat as much as they want while those on the bottom are left with scraps.
At first glance, it seems ridiculous that a reality television series about cooking and a horror film could have the same plot. But without the details, it's easy to see where fans could accuse Gordon Ramsay and FOX of ripping off The Platform, especially as the movie was created first.
One user tweeted, "Next Level Chef just stealing the entire concept from The Platform movie," while television writer Jose Molina wrote, "Have you guys ever seen the Spanish movie The Platform (El Hoyo)? Can the filmmakers sue Gordon Ramsay for stealing their movie for this Next Level Chef nonsense?"
Then again, if Next Level Chef creators were inspired by the horror flick, it wouldn't be the first time reality television took notes from serious work — just look at the show Big Brother, which takes its name from George Orwell's 1984.
So far, however, the producers of Next Level Chef have not addressed the rumors, so until then, fans will have to presume any similarities between the show and The Platform are purely coincidental.
New episodes of Next Level Chef air on FOX on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST. The Platform is available for streaming on Netflix.