Shia LaBeouf Apologizes for Ripping-Off Artist Daniel Clowes with His New Short Film

However, even the actor’s apology appears to be plagiarized. The actor’s directorial debut is copied from Clowes’ comic ‘Justin M. Damiano’.
However, even the actors apology appears to be plagiarized. The actors directorial debut is copied from Clowes comic Justin M. Damiano.

Yesterday, actor-director Shia LaBeouf's short film was posted online in its entirety, after making its debut at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Despite the fact that the short film was nearly 18 months old, and it had debuted at other film festivals such as the St. Louis Film Festival and the Phoenix Film Festival, it was only revealed last night that the work was plagiarized from Daniel Clowes' 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano.

The short, which stars Jim Gaffigan as online film critic Howard Cantour, follows a day on the press junket circuit, with Thomas Lennon and Portia Doubleday co-starring as Howard's colleagues, and Dito Montiel portraying the filmmaker Howard once idolized. A vast majority of the dialogue is lifted word-for-world from Daniel Clowes' comic, although the character names have been changed.

The credits make no mention of a screenwriter, or that the work was based on or inspired by Daniel Clowes' comic. Buzzfeed caught up with the author, who revealed that he was not aware his work was being plagiarized.

"The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I've never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf. I've never even seen one of his films that I can recall - and 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."

Shia LaBeouf has mentioned before that he is a fan of Daniel Clowes work, but he the author's work didn't come up in an interview with ShortOfTheWeek, the website which posted yesterday.

"I know something about the gulf between critical acclaim and blockbuster business. I have been crushed by critics (especially during my Transformers run), and in trying to come to terms with my feelings about critics, I needed to understand them. As I tried to empathize with the sort of man who might earn a living taking potshots at me and the people I've worked with, a small script developed."

Last night, the actor fessed up to his plagiarism with a series of tweets.

However, it appears that even his apology was pilfered from a post on Yahoo! Answers. The actor has been accused of plagiarism before, after it was revealed he copied quotes from an Esquire magazine article into an email he sent to Alec Baldwin, which later leaked online.

You can Click Here! to watch the 12-minute short film in its entirety, and to read the first panel of Daniel Clowes' Justin M. Damiano.

Daniel Clowes was released April 2012 and stars Jim Gaffigan, Thomas Lennon, Portia Doubleday, Dito Montiel, Caroline Morahan, Heidi Niedermeyer, Tremajah Brown, Skoti Collins. The film is directed by Shia LaBeouf.

Sources: Buzzfeed

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Comments (18)

  1. Ashley Langlois

    His actions are definitely regreatable and immature. However, I forgive him. There are plenty of worse things he could have done. He didn't hurt anyone but himself. That being said, i honestly think this has something to do with drugs. call me crazy, but i swear he's on something. Something really strong...That's no exscuse but I bet it's going to come out that he was high as a kite during this period of time.

    1 year agoby @Ashley-LangloisFlag

  2. Romero1989

    Yea I'm pretty sure Shia's career is over. I was impressed with the first transformers movie, he didn't really fit any of his other roles after that.

    1 year agoby @romero1989Flag

  3. skywise

    hard to imagine what he was thinking...its not like he hasn't been in the industry long enough to know that what he did was wrong.

    The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe it was all a publicity stunt.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  4. Brizzy

    @ObiWanShinobi No offence, but I dont. Neither do you.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  5. Mieko_Siede

    @undeadslayer4 There is no age for talent. Many young actors make the transition to director within a short span in their career. Many of their projects are independent and quite often we either don't know it or haven't heard of it. They have the talent in abundance to come up with fresh ideas given that is the reason a lot of them get into the business, to tell stories. The thing about this is that this was handled tastelessly across the board. Shia knew what he was doing when he stole that story. He knows full well what plagiarism is. He never expected there to be a connection. That was the problem, thinking that so few people may have known of the actual source material. Another part of it was ego. Point blank, he didn't care. He continued the trend of showing how little he cared by presenting a statement he'd copied off of a blog site to pose as an apology. As @2movieguys said, he has no character or integrity. That's not youth, that's arrogance. He completely presented this film and script as an original concept negating the fact that he had taken it straight from the page of a comic book and cloaked his statement saying that he drew from the inspiration of his own past criticisms. It was all an individual act that showed there is no integrity to his craft.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  6. undeadslayer4

    @mieko-siede@ObiWanShinobi maybe this is the reason why theres very few young actors who are directors

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  7. Brizzy

    @ObiWanShinobi You dont know that.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  8. CelluloidDreams character or integrity!.

    1 year agoby @2movieguysFlag

  9. cvnt$top

    @ObiWanShinobi nevermind Google is my best friend, thank you anyways lol

    1 year agoby @cvntstopFlag

  10. cvnt$top

    @ObiWanShinobi im interested on knowing who said that quote please?

    1 year agoby @cvntstopFlag

  11. ObiWanShinobi

    "Never meet your idols". @mieko-siede

    1 year agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  12. Mieko_Siede

    @ObiWanShinobi I don't think these actors and entertainers realize that once the public scope is put on them that often times their behavior, however impersonal to the general public, it's off putting and sometimes even damaging to their careers. We could have gotten over him ripping off someone else's material. But his inability to give a heartfelt or even genuine apology is quite disgusting. It's obvious he's begun to see himself as far more than he actually is on a pedestal above those that aren't in his community.

    But for me, it's first hand experience having actually encountered him that has made me change my opinion about him. I found myself very disappointed.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  13. ObiWanShinobi

    his publicists wrote that sh*t I bet @Brizzy

    1 year agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  14. ObiWanShinobi

    I used to be a big fan of his. @mieko-siede

    1 year agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  15. Mieko_Siede

    Shia has been rubbing me the wrong way for quite some time. He gives me the impression of a smug egotist. To steal someone else's work and not accredit them. Or to even issue an apology that is copied and pasted from other quotes is more than indecent. I once saw him as a budding star. Now it's hard to stomach watching him on screen.

    1 year agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  16. Brizzy

    Atleast he handled it in a mature way.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

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