A lawmaker from Australia was accused of stealing a portion of dialogue from the movie The American President while giving a speech to journalists in Canberra on Wednesday.
The New York Post has reported that the Federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, plagiarized the 1995 movie starring Michael Douglas and Annette Bening.
In the movie, Douglas’ character, Andrew Shepherd, says, “We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious men to solve them.” While speaking to the National Press Club, Albanese said, “In Australia, we have serious challenges to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”
In an additionally suspect coincidence, the movie contains lines criticizing the opposition: “And whatever your particular problem is, friend, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it.”
Albanese copied these words to attack leader Tony Abbott. He said, “Unfortunately, Tony Abbott is not the least bit interested in fixing any of them. He’s only interested in two things—making Australians afraid of it and telling them who’s to blame for it.”
Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane was the first person to spot the similarities between the speech and the movie. He said, “I was going through the torture of watching [Albanese] at the Press Club, when suddenly I thought to myself—I’ve heard all this before.”
Albanese has responded Thursday to the claims by stating that he has never seen The American President, and that his office staff is responsible for the speech.