Shia LaBeouf apologizes for plagiarizing

Just a day after Shia LaBeouf‘s short film, HowardCantour.com, was released online, the writer-director was accused of plagiarizing Daniel Clowes’ 2007 comic, Justin M. Damiano. HowardCantour.com, about the lives of internet critics and bloggers, has played at several film festivals, including Cannes, but garnered little acclaim or attention until now. The actor-turned-writer/director used direct quotes from Clowes, including the comic’s opening text: “A critic is a warrior, and each of us on the battlefield have the means to glorify or demolish (whether a film, a career, or an entire philosophy) by influencing perception in ways that if heartfelt and truthful, can have far-reaching repercussions.”

Clowes told Buzzfeed, “I’ve never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf… I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.”

The Transformers star responded today on Twitter: “Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work. In my excitement and naivete as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it. I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work. I f—-d up.” The film has since been taken down. ~ Jennifer Yoo 

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Comments & Discussion

  1. jj • December 18, 2013 @ 1:12 AM

    handled with honesty and pretty well imo

  2. AJ • December 18, 2013 @ 9:23 AM

    hmmmmm, a douche-bag does a douche-bag like thing and hires a good P.R. guy to write a “heart felt” apology (which he also takes credit for) and it’s WIN for him, WIN for his film, WIN for the original writer and WIN for the P.R. guy….welcome to Hollywood

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