Was True Detective A True Rip-Off?

trueTrue Detective has been a TV critical success but is now surrounded by rumours of plagiarism.

Creator Nic Pizzolatto has been accused of plagiarizing both phrases and ideas from Thomas Ligotti’s The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror, among others, but both HBO and the showrunner have said that no plagiarism ever took place.

The network released a statement that is very complimentary and supportive of Pizzolatto’s work. “True Detective is a work of exceptional originality and the story, plot, characters and dialogue are that of Nic Pizzolatto,” HBO said. “Philosophical concepts are free for anyone to use, including writers of fiction, and there have been many such examples in the past. Exploring and engaging with ideas and themes that philosophers and novelists have wrestled with over time is one of the show’s many strengths—we stand by the show, its writing and Nic Pizzolatto entirely.”

Pizzolatto’s statement read – “Nothing in the television show True Detective was plagiarized,” Pizzolatto tells E! News in a statement. “The philosophical thoughts expressed by Rust Cohle do not represent any thought or idea unique to any one author; rather these are the philosophical tenets of a pessimistic, anti-natalist philosophy with an historic tradition including Arthur Schopenauer, Friedrich Nietzche, E.M. Cioran, and various other philosophers, all of whom express these ideas. As an autodidact pessimist, Cohle speaks toward that philosophy with erudition and in his own words. The ideas within this philosophy are certainly not exclusive to any writer.”

Pizzolatto was accused of plagiarism by Jon Padgett, founder of the website Thomas Ligotti Online, and Mike Davis, editor of The Lovecraft eZine, who claim that many of Rust’s speeches and quotes were unoriginal.

“It became obvious to me that Pizzolatto had plagiarized Thomas Ligotti and others—in some places using exact quotes, and in others changing a word here and there, paraphrasing in much the same way that a high school student will cheat on an essay by copying someone else’s work and substituting a few words of their own,” Padgett told Davis in an interview.

Source E! News


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