When you’ve written as many words as The Fault in Our Stars author John Green has, there probably isn’t a way for you to remember every single one of them. Green made a mistake in thinking a quote was correctly attributed to him and is not only apologizing for it publicly, but also taking steps to repay the person. According to CNN, he said he didn’t remember writing the line but doesn’t remember a lot of things he’s written years ago.
The words in question actually belong to a fan of his — a young girl named Melody Truong, who came up with it in 2009 and published it on her Tumblr account.
“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”
“They were just little graphics with the quote on top of images, typical Tumblr stuff,” Truong said.
The quote ended up going viral, and people reportedly attributed it to the Fault in Our Stars author. Green explained in his YouTube video, however, that he never originally wrote that line and has just now realized the error.
“When I saw the quote, I assumed it came from [my book] Paper Towns. People kept sourcing it as coming from Paper Towns.”
“I’m the thief!” Green said when he found out Truong has been accused of stealing the quote from him. He said the Internet has made it easy for mistakes like this to happen.
“We do an epically bad job of acknowledging one another’s work and checking our sources.”
“I felt a bit hurt,” said Truong, now 18-years-old, when she found out Green had been selling posters with her quote attributed to himself. He’s now retroactively paying her royalties from sales of the posters.
Last week, Truong’s friend posted about the situation on Reddit, which led to a response from Green.
“I’m still in a state of shock about the situation, actually. I never expected any of this to happen. I’ve always looked up to John Green as a role model. I know that if this happened to me with another person or company, nothing of this caliber would have occurred. He is the prime example of a wonderful person.”
CNN reports their attempts to reach Green through his publicist were not answered.
Does it sound like the Fault in Our Stars author is blaming the Internet community instead of taking the full responsibility himself? Does the fact that he’s paying Truong back royalties make up for his failure in checking?
[Image via YouTube]