Accused of Plagiarism

On Jan. 12, screenwriter Simon Stephenson sent an email to the Writers Guild of America’s senior director of credits Lesley Mackey asking to set up a call to discuss an important matter.

In recent weeks, after Stephenson’s exchange with Mackey went nowhere, he shot off an email on Feb. 25 to the WGA board with the subject line: “An urgent plea for help from a WGA writer in a truly extraordinary situation.” He wrote, “I can demonstrate beyond any possible doubt that the meaningful entirety of the screenplay for a film with WGA-sanctioned credits that is currently on track to win a screenwriting Oscar [The Holdovers] has been plagiarised line-by-line from a popular unproduced screenplay of mine. I can also show that the director of the offending film was sent and read my screenplay on two separate occasions prior to the offending film entering development. By ‘meaningful entirety’ I do mean literally everything- story, characters, structure, scenes, dialogue, the whole thing. Some of it is just insanely brazen: many of the most important scenes are effectively unaltered and even remain visibly identical in layout on the page.”




Wow. Quite brazen then for them to say that that the teacher "didn't plagiarize his Harvard classmate but that the guy plagiarized him". Think they could have changed up some stuff in the film if they were going to do so but apparently they were too full of themselves to do so.


I never even thought of that. What a great observation


Somebody's got some splainin' to do!


The story broke around the time of Oscar voting.

In recent years, studios and producers not only promote THEIR movies for Oscars or Oscar wins...some of them hire firms to ATTACK other contenders and lose votes for them.

Its like politics now...and I think that political hit firms are actually hired for the job.

I vaguely remember attacks on "A Beautiful Mind" way back in 2001 on the basis of the real man being horrible, or the real events being wrongly portrayed.

Sometimes you don't even have to hire a firm to do opposition research . Last year, the "opposition stories" to Licorice Pizza (nominated for Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay) centered on two things: (1) Scenes involving the white owner of a Japanese restaurant (scorned as racist) and (2) the "grooming" angle(25 year old woman with 15 year old boy.) It worked. No Oscar wins. (Even though the romance was platonic and legal in some states even if not, and even if the Japanese restuarant scenes were based on a real man and...funny.)

So this plagarism suit against a movie that involves plagarism. These suits happen ALL the time on MANY movies, but this one "broke at Oscar time."

I've since forgotten the details about the writer's script or book or whatever it was, but it seemed that he had them "dead to rights" on some steals(so he'll win some money) but that his story was not the same in other details(I don't think it had to do with a private East Coast school shutting down for Xmas.)