Shia LaBeouf Caught Plagiarizing Daniel Clowes Comic for Short Film

labeoufplagiarism

With every tentative step he takes toward artistic credibility, Shia LaBeouf always seems to end up getting knocked two steps back. The 27-year-old actor continues to put his foot in his mouth almost every time he opens it… and lately, he’s been opening it a lot. Over the past couple of years he has made no secret of the fact that he is done with blockbuster movies, apparently tired of getting flack for Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. To that end, he has mostly kept up his end of the bargain, taking on more risky projects like Fredrik Bond’s Charlie Countryman and Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. However, he is also striving to become a filmmaker himself and his latest short HowardCantour.com was set to be his most ambitious work yet. There’s just one problem: he seems to have stolen the story from a Daniel Clowes and now he has been caught red-handed.

When LaBeouf’s short film went online earlier this week, it didn’t take long for people to start noticing similarities to Clowes’ comic Justin M. Damiano. In fact, many dialogue exchanges appear to have been copied almost word for word. LaBeouf does not credit Clowes anywhere and the credits simply state “A Film by Shia LaBeouf.” After being confronted, however, LaBeouf finally relented and issued the following apology via Twitter:

The most unbelievable part of all this, however, is that even part of this apology was supposedly plagiarized from an entry on Yahoo! Answers. It’s worth noting that LaBeouf also previously plagiarized an apology to Alec Baldwin earlier this year. On the one hand, you could almost think he is playing some weird meta hoax on everyone by challenging notions of copyright. On the other hand, it’s pretty clear that he’s just another confused former child actor looking for validation, and, like everyone else from his generation, knows only what he finds on the internet. Will The Beef ever actually grow up?

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  • Claws Longtail

    The interesting part of this story is the internet angle. The internet can inspire creativity or cause lazy and derivative work. I’ve seen very original and fun podcasts devolve into just reading internet news stories. (Not Film Junk!) I can imagine Shia ‘researching’ apologies before posting on Twitter. That’s what people do now, right?

  • Jr

    You know, the interesting part of this story is the internet angle. The internet
    can inspire creativity or cause lazy and derivative work.

  • Jr

    You know, the interesting part of this story is the internet angle. The internet
    can inspire creativity or cause lazy and derivative work.

  • ECONOMYpolitica

    The interesting part of this story is the internet angle. The internet can inspire creativity or cause lazy and derivative work. I’ve seen very original and fun podcasts devolve into just reading internet news stories. (Not Film Junk!) I can imagine Shia ‘researching’ apologies before posting on Twitter. That’s what people do now, right? They write comics instead of starring in Transformers movies because of tall whiny Internet haters who are jealous of their youth and vitality? What did he do wrong? Are comic books some protected class that nobody can ever touch just because their movies make so much money? This guy is an artist. Lay off of him!

  • ProjectGenesis

    “ …apparently tired of getting flack for Transformers and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”

    Oh grow a pair, Shia. Judi Dench was in Chronicles of Riddick; Michael Sheen was in both Twilight AND Underworld, etc.

    This is something from Tropic Thunder 2.

  • pineapplepuss

    Everybody quit saying the interesting part of this story is the internet angle!

  • Jr

    I think that there may be more than meets the eye here.

  • mangopuss

    That internet angle, I tell you. Interesting stuff right there.

  • ECONOMYpolitica

    The interesting part of this story is the internet angle. The internet can inspire creativity or cause lazy and derivative work. Just look at this – http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2013/12/shia-labeoufs-website-about-page-was-also-copied/ Now, where is the podcast?!?!?!?

  • Bas

    I like this new Shia. He has chutzpah!

  • Anthony

    Is his nickname actually “the Beef”?

  • Bas

    Watch Nymphomaniac and you’ll know why