ScreenRant.com

Shia LaBeouf Accused of Plagiarism (Again) and Apologizes

Actor Shia LaBeouf made it rather clear that he didn't want his career defined by his lead role as Sam Witwicky in Michael Bay's first three blockbuster Transformers movies when he decided to leave the franchise and pursue smaller, more personal projects. It's a safe bet he doesn't want his career defined by what has transpired this week, either.

It all began last year when LaBeouf, a self-proclaimed amateur filmmaker, premiered his short film HowardCantour.com at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. That short debuted online Monday and some viewers quickly noticed that it was shockingly similar to an uncredited comic book; he's since been accused of plagiarism on two different accounts.

Justin M. Damiano is the name of a 2007 comic written and drawn by Daniel Clowes. It's also the source material of Shia LaBeouf's short film, although LaBeouf neglected to ever credit said source in the film, or while promoting it during or since its releases at both Cannes and online.

...Until today, that is. After he got called out for it.

HowardCantour.com tells the story of an online film critic named Howard (played by Jim Gaffigan) and is almost identical to the Justin M. Damiano comic, down to many of its visuals. LaBeouf not only never credited original author Clowes, but never even spoke to him about adapting the book. Clowes tells 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 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."

The film was quickly blocked from public consumption last night (initially with password protection, and now it's gone entirely) and Shia LaBeouf took to Twitter to being explaining and apologizing, with these six tweets:

More in Movie News

Shia LaBeouf Accused of Plagiarism (Again) and Apologizes