Shia LaBeouf plagiarized his short film, apologizes with plagiarized apology

Shia LaBeouf

This is a convoluted and somewhat “inside baseball” type story that is difficult to explain without delving into the indie film world. Then one must consider Shia LaBeouf’s place within the indie world, which is super confusing. To begin, let’s remember that Shia apologized to Alec Baldwin earlier this year with an explanation cribbed from Tom Chiarella’s “How to Be a Man” essay in Esquire. At the time, Shia was apologizing for punching a hole in a door during rehearsals for their Broadway production. Of course the sad part about that encounter was that Shia made Alec look like the sane party in the argument.

Shia didn’t learn his plagiarism lesson there, and this new encounter gets super messy. Here’s the gist: Shia directed a short film called (you can see the trailer here) that debuted at the 2012 Cannes film festival. At the time of the premiere, Shia described himself as “f—ing terrified.” Now … many months later, the wizards at Buzzfeed have realized that Shia ripped off a comic strip by Daniel Clowes for that short film. Indiewire describes the plagiarism as very obvious but gives Shia the benefit of the doubt:

What LaBeouf did was wrong, and so blatant it’s hard to imagine he thought no one would notice — if, indeed, he did think that. Adapting a secondary text is a common film-school exercise, and given that it’s unlikely LaBeouf ever made, or will make, a dime off the film, it’s possible he thought clearing the rights wasn’t necessary. It’s also possible he thought he could away with copying a strip from one of the world’s better-known cartoonists, or that, even though he’s a self-proclaimed Daniel Clowes fan, he’s also an entitled movie-star millennial who thinks other people’s work is free for the taking.

[From Indiewire]

In response to this scandal, here is Shia’s “apology” via his Twitter account:

Shia LaBeouf

Wait a second. We’re not done yet. Let’s back up just a moment: “Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.” Uhhhh. Film Drunk plugged that baby into Google and figured out Shia didn’t even write this apology all by himself. He copied it from a Yahoo! answer. He even copied the capitalization of “IS.” Seriously. Shia is so arrogant that he just took his freaking apology from the Internet like he owned the entire universe. What is going on with this guy? He’s not dumb, just egotistical.

Buzzfeed updates with a promise that Daniel Clowes will pursue his legal options following the revelation of Shia’s misdeeds. Clowes’ editor writes, “His apology is a non-apology, absolving himself of the fact that he actively misled, at best, and lied, at worst, about the genesis of the film.” Gooooo, Daniel Clowes.

Shia LaBeouf

Photos courtesy of WENN

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46 Responses to “Shia LaBeouf plagiarized his short film, apologizes with plagiarized apology”

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  1. bns says:

    LOL. Talentless hack.

    I had so much fun searching his name on twitter last night because of this.

    • Cora says:

      I did the same thing! This is my favourite tweet so far: “Shia LaBeouf, who may have plagiarized his apology for plagiarism, has plagiarized an apology before.” :D

  2. Dani2 says:

    LMAO at this douche. Who apologises for plagiarism with a plagiarised apology? Who does that? Smh

  3. Kittypants says:

    “Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.”

    As far as I can tell, Shia’s short film was a complete and utter direct rip-off of Clowes’ work, not just an inspiration OR a new idea by any means. Nice try, Shia. Another case of being embarrassed by being caught out, with no sincere apology or credit to the original artist.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      So, I guess if I completely copied a poem but put it to music, that would be new and creative? Oh brother. What a moron.

    • Jayna says:

      Exactly. It was far more than inspired by and yet never mentioned that, did he, letting it pass as his? How bizarre and says a lot about his character.

  4. Singtress says:

    Shia without plagiarism:
    “Sorry. Dude. Really. It’s cool. I’m cool. Really.”

    Lazy LaDouche….

  5. Londerland says:

    “He’s not dumb, just egotistical.”

    Can’t he be both?

    • ninaL says:

      Bingo. He’s insecure about being dumb so he’s plagiarized for what? Like the fourth time now that we know of and never convers his tracks- people catch him by googling. That’s more proof of dumb.

      I bet he has a side of mental health issues or drug problems to further explain his instability.

      • TG says:

        LOL. Here comes rehab in 3.2.1. He is a THIEF nothing less. I have never taken credit for work that is not mine. Even when I am commenting on this board if I have read something super snarky and cool I always mention that I got this off of the comments on such and such a site or sometimes I refer to comments I have read on here and if I don’t remember the name I at least say I read it on here. Integrity is everything to me without it I am nothing.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Definitely both! If he were smart and egotistical, he wouldn’t have been caught so easily.

  6. mark says:

    It’s real shitty that he ripped someone off but aren’t buzzfeed famous for ripping people off in their ‘articles’ by just ripping them off, not paying for pictures used or just not crediting them?

  7. Sixer says:


    I have just shown this to Sixlet Major (who is swinging the lead making the most of his cold and not at school) and he says “What a nob”.

  8. mkyarwood says:

    LaDouche strikes again. Those airport pics are revolting. He rarely showers ever, because being dirty is apparently part of his attraction — and you can really see it here. He looks like he’s got the meat and meth sweats at the same time.

  9. Anna says:

    Wtf Shia? I remember for a few years he was quite good and likeable. But I think the end of cool Shia came when him and Carey Mulligan broke up

  10. Esti says:

    Serious question: how is he still getting work? He doesn’t appear to be outstandingly talented or anything, he doesn’t seem to have a significant fan base, and the only time he ever makes the news is when he does something douchetastic. Whatever he pays his management team, he should double it purely because they’re managing to keep getting him roles.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I think after this, he won’t be getting too many roles. Especially not big budget ones. Its only been this year that he freaked out on Alec Baldwin, punched a hole in the wall, plagiarized his apology for that incident, AIRED out to the public the entire grievance (when he put the emails out online), filmed a girl puking outside a bar, then freaked out when someone started filming him doing the same thing, and now this—I can see why there are rumors that Brad P. doesn’t like him. I can imagine that he thinks he’s the shit on that set. And I bet Brad’s not the only one.

      We’ll see if my second ultimate fantasy CB husband (who you guys never post on, wtf?) Steven Spielberg takes his calls now. F’ing idiot.

  11. Pri says:

    Only a dumb person would rip off a famous cartoonist and think that there was no chance he would be found out. There you go. DUMB. Egotistical? Majorly.

  12. Frida_K says:

    He’s just so….off-putting.


  13. lucy2 says:

    This guy has been in the industry since he was a kid. I’m certain he’s noticed the word “writer” on one of the hundreds of scripts he’s probably read. He knows better, he’s just lazy and egotistical, and thought he’d get away with it.
    I find it really weird that he can’t seem to form a thought on his own without lifting the wording from someone else.

  14. Ag says:

    Arrogant douchebag.

  15. IceQueen says:


  16. Belle Epoch says:

    What a f*cktard. Plagiarism is the lowest of the low. Passing off someone else’s original ideas as your own is a slap in the face to ALL creative people, most of whom really struggle to get any recognition – let alone money! – for their work. This d-bag has zero integrity. Hope he disappears.

  17. mercy says:

    I don’t care how talented an actor he is or how much he works, he seems like a dirtbag. Hopefully Mr. Clowes will get more attention for his work now.

    • Londerland says:

      Yeah, I guess for Daniel Clowes it’s all publicity – and it’s not like Shia’s film would have made any money, so Clowes isn’t losing out financially.

      I do hope he sues, though. 😄

  18. grayze says:

    Oh good lord. This is just *stupid* on his part. And yes, lazy too.

    All that said, though, with all his weird erratic behavior over the past several years and some of the stuff he says in interviews, LaDouche is one of those people I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the news having just done something horrible and crazy that might land him in prison. He seems more than a little off the rails, and part of his attitude with this kind of stuff – “I’ll just use whatever I like and make it mine regardless of who created it, and then not accept responsibility for that” – just reminds me of that. He doesn’t care. He thinks he’s above a lot, and even when people call him out on it he doesn’t seem to be concerned in the slightest.

  19. lunchcoma says:

    You know, in a lot of these celebrity discussions, I default to a “Why can’t we have both?” stance.

    But not with this guy. He’s pretentious, dishonest, arrogant, prone to violence, and it’s not as if he’s some shining beacon of talent to compensate for all that. Hopefully better people and better actors end up getting any roles that might have otherwise gone to him.

  20. Me says:

    Shia should have learned from those before him, only steal i mean pay homage to others. Helps a lot when you have a rabid fan base

  21. MavenTheFirst says:

    Lazy, pretentious bugger. All his vast opportunities and privileges and this is all he’s capable of- stealing . I hope he’s a laughing stock. What a lowlife.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I wonder what Robert Redford thinks now. He’s the one who started the Sundance Festival, correct? I’d be pissed if I were him.

  22. allison says:

    I fucking hate Daniel Clowes after getting my hopes up after Ghost World then reading David Boring with that god awful pathetic fascination with asses and weird oedipus thing. But I hate Shia LaBoof more