True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto accused of plagiarism


Say it ain't so, Gawker: "True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto has been accused of lifting phrases and ideas from writer Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against The Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror, as well cribbing ideas from works by numerous other writers."

Notable Replies

  1. Oh, fuck Gawker. You can't plagiarize ideas. If you could, Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn would all have been sued by the estate of Robert Johnson.

  2. Plagiarism or not, it's pretty obvious the guy making the accusation (who is not the same as the guy whose work was copied) doesn't actually know what the word means. According to him, every reference made in The Simpsons or Family Guy would actually be intellectual property theft.

  3. I discussed this with the two accusers on the Lovecraft eZine and after looking at their examples I cannot support their conclusions. They both weighed in on my blog:

    In short, Pizzolatto created a Ligottian character who speaks in Ligottian prose. That's not plagiarism. And when asked he copped to being an admirer of Ligotti and using his philosophy for Cohle's character and dialog, so he's not hiding anything. And until Ligotti weighs in (if he does) we have no way of knowing whether he sees this as an homage or theft. My guess is he's probably happy with the new readership he gained via True Detective.

  4. The show made it clear, intentionally or unintentionally, that Rust was just parroting the silly neo-nihilist tripe that was part of the atmosphere of the 90s. Now at least I can put a name on it. The only problem with lifting this kind of philosophy for a work of fiction is knowing who to blame. Granny Weatherwax would have been furious.

  5. "Good artists copy; great artists steal" - Steve Jobs attributing this to Picasso who may never have said it, but the phrase was stolen from T. S. Eliot who stole it from W. H. Davenport Adams.

Continue the discussion

25 more replies