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HBO's acclaimed drama True Detective took the Emmy nominations by storm last month, but the show's road to glory is getting bumpy.

Both the pay cable network and series creator Nic Pizzolatto are now on the defensive after an online magazine, The LoveCraft EZine, accused the writer of plagiarizing some of True Detective's dialogue from other authors—horror novelist Thomas Ligotti in particular.

In an article published on August 4, the online magazine interviewed the founder of a website dedicated to Ligotti, Thomas Liggoti Online. The founder claims there is "ample evidence" that excerpts from Ligotti's nonfiction book The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, were either paraphrased or directly lifted to be used primarily as dialogue for one of True Detective's main characters, Matthew McConaughey's Rust Cohle.

On Thursday, HBO defended Pizzolatto in a statement released to Entertainment Weekly:

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.

Pizzolatto, who in the past has named Ligotti as one influence for Rust's musings—which include such gems as his famous "time is a flat circle" line—also issued a 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 Schopenhauer, 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 five Emmys, including Best Drama Series. 


What's your take on the accusations against Pizzolatto?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 3/9/2014

Season 1 : Episode 8

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