True Detective creator denies plagiarism
Both HBO and True Detective’s creator Nic Pizzolatto have moved to deny accusations of plagiarism following claims that sections of the show’s dialogue - particularly from Matthew McConaughey’s character Rust Cohle - were lifted from the work of horror writer Thomas Ligotti.
The claims have been made by Jon Padgett, founder of Ligotti fan site Thomas Ligotti Online, and Lovecraft eZine website founder Mike Davis. Both men have pointed to sections of Cohle’s dialogue that bear a striking resemblance to Ligotti’s work, but now the network and the show’s creator have responded.
Entertainment Weekly published a statement from network HBO saying that: “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.”
The statement appears to address claims made by the pair that Pizzolatto had previously described Ligotti as an influence, saying that Cohle has a “Ligottian world view.”
Meanwhile, Pizzolatto himself has also released a statement denying the accusations: “Nothing in the television show True Detective was plagiarised. 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.”