Debbie Reynolds’ Advice Column Caught Plagiarizing ‘Dear Prudence’
Rarely do we get to cover a plagiarism scandal perpetrated by a legendary Hollywood actress, but here we go: large portions of questions submitted to Debbie Reynolds‘s advice column in The Globe were discovered to have been lifted from another famous advice columnist, Emily Yoffe of Slate’s “Dear Prudence”.
Yoffe was first made aware of the situation when an observer wrote to her, noting that she’d noticed that sometimes Reynolds would answer questions lifted, nearly verbatim, from her own columns. “I hear from multiple readers on the occasions that a letter I run in Dear Prudence also appears in, say, ‘Ask Amy’ or ‘Miss Manners,’ but those duplicates always appear virtually simultaneously, the result of an advice-seeker submitting to multiple columns,” Yoffe explained in her column. “The letters Reynolds answered were echoes of letters I’d responded to months, sometimes years ago.”
The columnist began watching Reynold’s advice column each week and found, without fail, “of the four questions Dear Debbie ran, at least one and occasionally all four were strikingly like dilemmas I had responded to.” She has a long running list of the similarities on her site, and in many of them, the only things changed were the genders of the subjects.
However, Reynolds and Yoffe would often give different answers to the questions posed, indicating that Reynolds herself wasn’t responsible for the plagiarism — but, rather, the editorial staffer responsible for choosing the questions had plagiarized Yoffe. (Indeed, a letter from The Globe‘s lawyers admitted that there were several “editorial similarities” between the letters, and the person responsible for managing the column left about a month ago.)
This is not a good week to be a plagiarist.
[Image via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com]
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