The writer and creator of dark TV drama 'True Detective' was accused earlier this week of plagirising from 'The Conspiracy Against the Human Race', a book by Thomas Ligotti. Observant fans noticed stark similarities between the book and the protagonist of the series, Rust Cohle (played by Matthew McConaughey). Now Nic Pizzolatto has hit back against the critics, claiming that nothing about 'True Detective' was stolen.

True DetectiveWas the character of Rust Cohle lifted from an existing work?

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In a statement release today, Pizzolatto said: “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.”

HBO also released a statement in support of the show and Pizzolatto, stating “‘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 has also acknowledged that Ligotti was a substantial influence on his work and that he makes references to him within the show. However, it's not the first time the show has been accused of plagirising. Eagle-eyed Alan Moore fans noticed that the last lines spoken in the final episode echoed dialogue in Moore's comic, 'Top Ten'. So is Pizzolatto actually plagiarising, or just namechecking some of his favourite authors? Take a look at the similairties and decide for yourself over at LoveCraft Zine.

More: Our Top Ten Rust Cohle Quotes