Shia LaBeouf’s bizarre plagiarism controversy has now officially rolled into the new year, with the actor’s continued drama taking literal wing. As our own MissCr1xlee detailed back in December, LaBeouf was busted for plagiarizing a comic by renowned comic creator Daniel Clowes to “make” his own short film, HowardCantour.com, a jawdroppingly disrespectful (and, let’s not mince words here – illegal) act that came to light after the short was posted on Vimeo. The short, of course, had previously premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where no one noticed that LaBeouf had lifted the plot, themes, and lines straight from Clowes’ comic.
LaBeouf responded to the controversy in the worst way possible – by tapping out a series of also plagiarized apologies and sending them out on Twitter. The actor had pulled the same stunt previously, when he lifted the wording of an Esquire article to apologize to actor Alec Baldwin after the two came to blows during a short-lived rehearsal process for a play LaBeouf ultimately dropped out of.
The actor has spent the weeks since the initial revelation of his plagiarism of Clowes’ work firing off still more plagiarized apologies and pretty much otherwise ignoring still more accusations of plagiarizing other works from other people for some of his other, non-acting endeavors. LaBeouf lashed out, however, on New Year’s Eve, tweeting: “You have my apologies for offending you for thinking I was being serious instead of accurately realizing I was mocking you.” Classy! There’s nothing like “mocking” other people by “illegally lifting the work of others.”
Now the actor has taken to the actual sky above Los Angeles to issue yet another “apology,” as a skywriting service puffed out a message that read, “I AM SORRY DANIEL CLOWES” yesterday afternoon. Variety reports that a company called Worldwide Sky Ads has taken responsibility for creating the ads, with LaBeouf later tweeting a picture of the work.
LaBeouf’s actions are so strange and still so disrespectful that many people wonder if the actor is using this as some kind of performance art (a la Casey Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix’s I’m Still Here) or, perhaps more intriguingly considering the nature of HowardCantour.com (it’s about online film critics), as a commentary on modern criticism. While both theories (and anything that falls in between them) are certainly valid, the problem is that, unless LaBeouf secured permission from the many people he stole work from and somehow convinced them to go along with his little charade, he has repeatedly broken the law and proven to be an “artist” with zero respect for fellow creatives – and no matter the spirit behind such actions, it’s illegal and straight up stupid.
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