True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto has dismissed accusations he plagiarised much of the dialogue recited by Matthew McConaughey in the hit TV crime drama.
Pizzolatto recently came under fire for reportedly lifting many phrases and ideas from Thomas Ligotti’s The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror, and pieces of other philosophers’ works, then using them as dialogue for McConaughey’s Emmy-nominated role of detective Rust Cohle.
Jon Padgett, founder of the fan website for Thomas Ligotti Online, tells The Lovecraft eZine that Pizzolatto was clearly taking ideas from the author and did not properly credit him in the series.
Padgett said, “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.”
However Pizzolatto has slammed the allegations, insisting all the philosophical ideas Cohle refers to in the series are based on many authors, and he uses that knowledge to solve the murder case in his own vocabulary.
A statement from Pizzolatto to E! News reads:
“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.”
Bosses at America’s HBO Network also backed their show’s creator, adding in their own statement:
“True Detective is a work of exceptional originality and the story, plot, characters and dialogue are that of Nic Pizzolatto.
“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.”
True Detective, which also starred Woody Harrelson, leads the pack of nominations for this year’s Emmy Awards, including nods for both McConaughey as a lead actor and Pizzolatto in the outstanding writing category.
Photo Credit: HBO