With True Detective poised to provide serious competition for awards heavyweight Breaking Bad at this year’s Emmys, neither HBO nor creator Nic Pizzolatto were too happy yesterday when accusations of plagiarism were lobbied at Pizzolatto. A rather detailed report over at The Lovecraft E-zine highlighted extensive similarities between scripts for the first season of True Detective and Thomas Ligotti’s “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race,” with other works including ones by William S. Burroughs and Alan Moore also noted in the site’s argument.
Naturally, HBO and Pizzolatto both have a stake in defending True Detective‘s reputation, and now official statements from both have arrived. Check them out below:
‘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.
Nic Pizzolatto Statement:
Nothing in the television show ‘True Detective’ was plagiarized. 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.
What do you think? It’s interesting that neither statement addresses Ligotti or his work by name, despite the purportedly plagiarized sections of True Detective, including this one – “The only honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing and march hand-in-hand into extinction” – hew closely to words written by Ligotti.
Then again, neither HBO nor Pizzolatto have anything to gain by acknowledging the influence of Ligotti’s work on True Detective at this point (and in fact, with Pizzolatto nominating for an Emmy for writing the episode “The Secret Fate of All Life,” both may have a lot to lose if this controversy continues to make headlines). Unfortunately for the network and the writer, it’s likely that this outright rejection of the accusations is not the last we’ll hear of this. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as more on this unexpected conflict emerges.
Source: The Playlist