Shia LaBeouf’s half-apology for his recent plagiarism scandal with his new short film HowardCantour.com may not be sufficient. The actor confirmed the film copied the plot and dialogue from a comic written by Daniel Clowes and now the artist is looking at taking LaBeouf to court. Clowes’ publisher, Fantographics’ Eric Reynolds, confirmed the artist “is exploring his legal options” and will file a plagiarism lawsuit if possible.
"LaBeouf changed the name of the main character, but he used the comic as a direct script and storyboard. LaBeouf just used the dialogue word for word. There is no ambiguity,” said Reynolds. “It just defies any kind of logic or good sense. This was so blatant and inexcusable that it was as baffling as it was appalling."
The actor admitted to stealing and apologized via Twitter for plagiarizing Clowes’ work, but it seems even his olive branch was plagiarized by a response on Yahoo! Answers four years ago. The actor tweeted two days ago that “copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.” A Yahoo! Answers response in 2009 by “Lili” on the subject of plagiarism read: “Merely copying isn’t particularly creative work, though it’s useful as training and practice. “Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work, and it may even revolutionalize the ‘stolen’ concept.”
In later tweets (which don’t seem to have been plagiarized), LaBeouf admitted to not contacting Clowes and admitted that he “f---ed up” for plagiarizing the comic. However, he said he was inspired by Clowes’ work rather than simply copying it.
“In my excitement and naivete as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation,” he wrote. “I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. 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.”
However, it’s possible that LaBeouf may now be trolling people when it comes to his apologies. He ripped off apology quotes from Tiger Woods and Kanye West, among others, when speaking about the incident yesterday via Twitter. “I have let my family own and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart,” tweeted LaBeouf, which is the exact same sentence Woods used for his apology regarding his infidelity. “I was wrong, terribly wrong. I owe it to future generations to explain why. It starts with this … I’m sorry.” The last sentence was used verbatim by West when apologizing to Taylor Swift for crashing her speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.