Freelance film journalist MaryAnn Johanson, who relocated from New York City to London a few years ago, was wise to screen-capture the blatant plagiarism of portions of her review of Norwegian film Turn Me On, Dammit! by Lianne Spiderbaby. (a.k.a. Lianne MacDougall). Shortly after she called out the writer via her website Flick Filosopher, all traces of the offending item vanished from Spiderbaby’s end. The Canadian-born Spiderbaby also apparently immediately started scrubbing her social media profile.
To Spiderbaby’s credit, she did not offer up the kind of BS excuse that Johanson was expecting. Instead, according to Johanson, Spiderbaby tweeted over the weekend the following:
I apologize for the plagiarism in my work. I am leaving journalism behind for awhile. I’m so very sorry to everyone esp those I’ve wronged.
The real pain of all this can be found in Johanson’s comments to her own item. ‘She won’t suffer any consequences,’ wrote the journalist in response to one reader. ‘This will just put her name more in the spotlight. Being an ethical person simply does not pay. Not literally, not figuratively.’
Spiderbaby has a book deal with St. Martin’s Press and a personal relationship with film director Quentin Tarantino. Expect this story to mushroom in the coming days. Meanwhile, be sure to read Johanson’s post and lede, which suggests this is far from the first time a person has lifted from her. Via Twitter, Johanson sought over the weekend to alert St. Martin’s, Fangoria magazine and several other outlets connected to Spiderbaby.
Update – 07/15/13: The largest daily newspaper in MacDougall’s hometown, Toronto, weighs in with comment at the end from Johanson. There’s also this great additional backgrounder shared by Johanson via Bleeding Cool.