Shia Labeouf Might Face Legal Action For PlagiarismBy: Emily Greene - December 19, 2013
Who knew plagiarizing another persons work could result in legal ramifications? Almost everyone, but maybe not Shia Labeouf.
On Monday, Labeouf debuted his short film Howard Cantour online and many people noticed the story line was similar to something they had read before.
The story line of Howard Cantour “examines the life of an anguished online film critic.” That familiar story line could be found in the 2007 graphic novella Justin M. Damiamo by Daniel Clowes.
Now it looks like Clowes may be looking to take legal action against Labeouf. According to Fantographics’ Eric Reynolds, Clowes’ publisher, the writer “is exploring his legal options.”
Reynolds was “baffled” when he found out about LaBeouf plagiarizing Clowes’ work. “LaBeouf changed the name of the main character, but he used the comic as a direct script and storyboard. Clowes has a real melodramatic voice that is very idiosyncratic and LaBeouf just used the dialogue word for word. There is no ambiguity. There is no way that anybody wrote this but Dan Clowes. 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.”
Labeouf took to his Twitter on Tuesday to apologize for plagiarizing Clowes’ work, explaining that he was sorry for not giving credit to Clowes during the process of making his short film and regretted plagiarizing his work.
The actor has continued to apologize and talk about the plagiarism on Twitter.
Even though Labeouf has flooded his Twitter account with apologies, Reynolds says he hasn’t reached out to Clowes to apologize to him directly. Said Reynolds, “As far as I know the only comments he has given were those late night Twitter comments a few nights ago.”
The short film has since been taken down from the website.