What You Need To Know About the 'True Detective' Plagiarism Row

So you've heard about the True Detective 'plagiarism row'. You've heard about Thomas Ligotti, and Nic Pizzolatto, and Rust Cohle's monologues - but how does all this fit together? Who's being accused of what?

True DetectiveWoody Harrelson [L] and Matthew McConaughey [R] in 'True Detective'

Well, the specific allegations concern Pizzolatto - the creator and writer of True Detective - and his existential dialogue for Matthew McConaughey's character in the acclaimed HBO show. Some have flagged up the similarity between the lines and the work of the horror writer Thomas Ligotti.

More: should we care about True Detective's plagiarism accusations?

More: Elisabeth Moss coy on True Detective rumors

Jon Padgett, the founder of Thomas Ligotti Online and Mike Davis, the editor and founder of The Lovecraft eZine website, compared a few of Rust Cohle's famous lines in the show with Ligotti's book Conspiracy Against the Human Race. For example, one line in True Detective goes: 

"We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself. We are creatures that should not exist by natural law."

While Ligotti's work reads:

"We know that nature has veered into the supernatural by fabricating a creature that cannot and should not exist by natural law, and yet does."

Another famous line from True Detective saw McConaughey telling Woody Harrelson's character:

"The only honorable thing for our species to do is deny our programming, stop reproducing, and march hand-in-hand into extinction."

This is similar to the line in Ligotti's book:

"...the human race will never do the honorable thing and abort itself..."/ "To end this self-deception... we must cease reproducing."

Pizzolatto has been pretty open about Ligotti's influence on his work - but is this really plagiarism? Sure, the themes are similar, but the Pizzolatto is creating fictional characters for a TV show. Rust Cohle shares Ligotti's philosophy, his world view and general sense of ennui. Should we really be throwing accusations of plagiarism around? Jury's out.

More: meet the probable cast of 'True Detective' season 2


Tags: Matthew Mcconaughey - Woody Harrelson


More Matthew Mcconaughey

Watch Kate Mara & Ellen Page As "Terrible" 'Tiny Detectives' In 'True Detective' Parody [Video]

Kate Mara and Ellen Page parody HBO's True Detective and their own short statures in a new Funny or Die video.Kate Mara at New York...

With Matthew McConaughey's Story Done "True Detective" Casts Colin Farrell For Second Season

Big news, True Detective fans! The latest cast announcement from HBO’s runaway hit is that Colin Farrell will join the lineup starting next season. Farrell...

Amber Heard In, Matthew McConaughey Out Of 'Magic Mike XXL'

Matthew McConaughey will not be reprising his role as strip club owner Dallas in the upcoming sequel to Magic Mike, Magic Mike XXL. The 2015...

Is Amber Heard Set To Join Channing Tatum For ‘Magic Mike XXL’?

Amber Heard has reportedly joined the cast of Magic Mike XXL, the sequel to Channing Tatum’s 2012 surprise stripper hit. Along with Heard, Jada Pinkett-Smith...


Matthew McConaughey Is Not in 'Magic Mike XXL'. But Andie MacDowell Is.

Matthew McConaughey will not reprise his role as strip-club owner Dallas in sequel Magic Mike XXL, according to director Greg Jacobs. Since his performance in...

Matthew McConaughey Will Not Be Starring In 'Magic Mike XXL'

Any excited fans that thought they were going to see a shirtless Matthew McConaughey in the upcoming 'Magic Mike' sequel will be extremely disappointed to...

Rachel McAdams In 'True Detective 2' Talks & Other Cast Rumours

Rachel McAdams is rumoured to be in talks with the makers of the second series of True Detective. The 35-year-old Canadian actor is not the...

Things To Get Fast and Furious For True Detective Season 2?

Looks like 'True Detective' feels the need for speed, as the director of four films from the Fast and Furious franchise, Justin Lin, is all...



Matthew Mcconaughey Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Matthew Mcconaughey

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All