HBO and Nic Pizzolatto Respond to ‘True Detective’ Plagiarism Allegations

HBO and Nic Pizzolatto Respond to 'True Detective' Plagiarism Allegations

HBO

“Nothing in the television show True Detective was plagiarized,” says Pizzolatto, while HBO reiterates that “we stand by the show, its writing and Nic Pizzolatto entirely”

HBO and Nic Pizzolatto have responded to recent allegations that the writer and showrunner of “True Detective” plagiarized parts of his Emmy-nominated show.

“True Detective is a work of exceptional originality and the story, plot, characters and dialogue are that of Nic Pizzolatto,” HBO said in a statement.

Also read: ‘True Detective’ Plot Details Emerge; Vince Vaughn in Talks, Elisabeth Moss Circling

The show has come under fire in recent days when horror fansite The Lovecraft E-Zine founder Mike Davis and Thomas Ligotti Online founder John Padgett published on Monday their evidence that themes and even dialogue from Pizzolatto's show bore too much similarity to the work of other writers, in particular Ligotti and his book “The Conspiracy Against the Human Race.”

But the network believes any similiarities are broad or coincidental. “Philosophical concepts are free for anyone to use, including writers of fiction, and there have been many such examples in the past,” said HBO in a statement. “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.”

Also read: Colin Farrell in Talks for ‘True Detective’ Season 2; Taylor Kitsch Also Eyed

Pizzolatto himself is adamant that there is no plagiarism, and names many influences for the show — though Ligotti is not one of them. “Nothing in the television show True Detective was plagiarized,” the show creator said 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.”

“True Detective” is nominated for 5 Emmy nominations for its first season, inclding Best Drama Series, two Best Actor nods for both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, Best Writing for Pizzolatto and Best Directing for Cary Fukunaga.

Also read: ‘True Detective’ Season 2 Scripts ‘More Exciting’ Than Season 1; Castings Likely Within a Week

A second season featuring a brand new cast and story is in development. As TheWrap reported, Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Taylor Kitsch are among the names in the mix.

The full statements from HBO and Pizzolatto can be seen below:

HBO 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.

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.