After Continued Plagiarism Scandals, Shia LaBeouf Retires From Public Life
Shia LaBeouf, intellectual titan and star of film classics such as Holes and The Even Stevens Movie, has launched yet another salvo against Ghost World creator Daniel Clowes, a person who, by all accounts, has never upset anyone.
This saga has a bit of a back story, so I'll do my best to keep it LaBrief.
All of this started when LaBeouf's short film, Howardcantour.com, was posted online after making the rounds on the festival circuit. Observant viewers quickly drew comparisons between Howardcantour.com and Clowes' 2008 short story Justin M. Damiano. Upon further inspection, it turns out the film not only had many similarities to the story, but large sections of the film were lifted word for word, panel for panel from Clowes' work.
LaBeouf issued an apology via Twitter, an apology that itself seemed to be plagiarized from a Yahoo! Answers post. Then, the man who is most famous for his work in films where he co-stars with a robot that can turn itself into a truck issued further apologies, which were copied from other people's apologies
As accusations about the Clowes plagiarism flew, people began to look at LaBeouf's other work, particularly his self-published comics Let's Fucking Party and Stale N Mate. It didn't take much digging to find that parts of Let's Fucking Party had been lifted from works by poet and novelist Charles Bukowski, and portions of Stale N Mate had been taken from a novel by French novelist Benoît Duteurtre.
Because his apology on Twitter didn't seem to be enough, LaBeouf further apologized to Clowes via the most sane and logical way a person could apologize: skywriting.
After that, LaBeouf gave an interview to comics website Bleeding Cool. The website later discovered that many portions of his answers for that interview were...you guessed it, plagiarized from a myriad of other works.
With more and more accusations of plagiarism piling up for LaBeouf, online pundits began to openly wonder if he was doing all of this as some form of performance art, some kind of a commentary on remix culture and the idea that modern society makes every work of art ever instantly accessible and ready to be reinterpreted. As it stands, looking into that angle, it turns out that LaBeouf is probably just an asshole.
Now, the saga has a new wrinkle or two. On Wednesday, LaBeouf posted a storyboard from a project he's calling Daniel Boring, possibly a direct jab at Clowes' 2000 graphic novel David Boring. LaBeouf's description of the short as "Fassbinder meets half-baked Nabokov on Gilligan's Island" bears little resemblance to Clowes' work, but still, the title can't be seen as anything but yet another jab at Clowes.
Finally, just this morning, LaBeouf has announced that he is retiring from all public life, a move obviously plagiarized from greats such as J.D. Salinger, Howard Hughes and Thomas Pynchon.
What do you think? Plagiarist, jerk, troll, or all three?
To leave a comment