Is 'True Detective' Plagiarized? Also: Do We Care?

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True Detective creator Nic Pizzolato has hit back at claims that the critically acclaimed HBO show - particularly those sprawling existential musings from Matthew McConaghey's Rust Cohle - was plagiarized from the work of author Thomas Ligotto and others. 

Nic PizzolattoNic Pizzolatto [L] and Matthew Mcconaughey [R] [Getty/Frederick M.Brown]

The specific claims focused on Ligotti's novel The Conspiracy Against the Human Race though Pizzolato and HBO - now working on season two of the show - were quick out of the blocks. 

"Nothing in the television show True Detective was plagiarized," said Pizzolatto. "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."

More: meet the probable cast of True Detective season 2

More: will Vince Vaughn really lead True Detective season 2?

More: Colin Farrell set to be cast in True Detective season 2

HBO were even clearer, saying in a 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."

True DetectiveMatthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle in 'True Detective'

True Detective has proved to be one of HBO's most successful shows in years, landing 12 Emmy nominations and inciting a frenzy of rumors and speculation surrounding the cast for season two.

Earlier this week it was reported how Vince Vaughn was being lined up to play the chief antagonist, with Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss playing detectives investigating the murder of a corrupt city manager amid a potentially groundbreaking transportation deal that would forever change freeway gridlock.


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