Shia LaBeouf Apologizes After Being Accused of Plagiarism

By Peter Gicas
|  Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013  |  Updated 1:25 PM PDT
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"Transformers" star Shia LaBeouf's efforts to, er, transform himself into something other than an actor seems to have landed him in a bit of hot water.

The short film "HowardCantour.com," which LaBeouf directed and debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, became availabe online on Monday, Dec. 16.

Soon after, Buzzfeed pointed out the striking similarities between the short film and a 2007 comic titled Justin M. Damiano written by Daniel Clowes, both in terms of story and dialogue.

In fact, both the film and comic begin with the same narration: "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."

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Labeouf subequently took to Twitter to apologize in a series of tweets.

"Copying isn't particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work," he wrote. "In my excitement and naivete as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation."

He continued, "Im 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.

LaBeouf concluded by saying, "I f--ked up."

Meanwhile, Clowes told Buzzfeed, "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 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."

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