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Nic Pizzolatto Denies Plagiarism Allegations Against 'True Detective'

Nic Pizzolatto Denies Plagiarism Allegations Against 'True Detective'
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By    |   Friday, 08 August 2014 08:18 AM

"True Detective" writer Nic Pizzolatto denied plagiarism charges on Thursday along with HBO, the host network of the show.

On Monday, Mike Davis, writer for an online magazine called The Lovecraft eZine, was contacted by Jon Padgett, founder of a website about author Thomas Ligotti.

Both reviewed Ligotti's work side-by-side with dialog from "True Detective" — especially that of lead character Rust Cohle played by Matthew McConaughey — and concluded that they were similar enough that the latter constituted plagiarism. They said this was a big problem, especially since Pizzolatto has been nominated for an Emmy for his writing.

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"As I reviewed Jon’s research, and did more of my own, any doubts I had about plagiarism disappeared," he wrote. "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."

The pair points to at least eight instances in the first season of "True Detective" that they say are too similar to Ligotti's "The Conspiracy Against the Human Race" to not give credit. They acknowledged that Pizzolatto had indeed mentioned Ligotti as an influence in a couple of interviews, but said this was not sufficient.

Just a few days later, Pizzolatto and HBO responded, denying the charges of plagiarism. They said that the dialog had borrowed ideas from several philosophers, not just Ligotti, and that the television drama's was part of that legacy — adding to it, not stealing it.

"Nothing in the television show 'True Detective' was plagiarized," Pizzolatto said in a statement, The Hollywood Reporter recounted. "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 [sic], 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."

HBO also defended the work of Pizolatto, saying, "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."

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"True Detective" writer Nic Pizzolatto denied plagiarism charges on Thursday along with HBO, the host network of the show.
nic pizzolatto, denies, plagiarism
Friday, 08 August 2014 08:18 AM
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