Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Shia LeBeouf admits to plagiarizing 'HowardCantour.com' from famed indie comic artist

He might be able to have you killed, but it looks like writing an original script just isn't in Shia LeBeouf's wheelhouse. The star admitted to accusations of plagiarism of his new short film, HowardCantour.com, early this morning, saying he "got lost in the creative process."

Shia LeBeouf admits to plagiarizing 'HowardCantour.com' from famed indie comic artist

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In this May 19, 2012, file photo, actor Shia LaBeouf poses during a photo call for Lawless at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
In this May 19, 2012, file photo, actor Shia LaBeouf poses during a photo call for Lawless at the 65th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File) Francois Mori

He might be able to have you killed, but it looks like writing an original script just isn’t in Shia LeBeouf’s wheelhouse. The star admitted to accusations of plagiarism of his new short film, HowardCantour.com, early this morning, saying he “got lost in the creative process.” 

LeBeouf premiered the 12-minute short on his website Monday, though it since has been removed following reports from Wired and Buzzfeed that it was a direct rip off of graphic artist Dan Clowes (of Ghost World fame) novella, Justin M. Damiano. Both stories tell the tale of a conflicted film critic, ambiguously wielding his power to sway public opinion.

So that’s a dead giveaway. That, and the fact that entire swaths of dialogue from Clowes’ original were repurposed into HowardCantour.com without any attribution. In fact, Clowes only heard about the project once someone sent him a link to watch:

“’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 actually can't imagine what was going through his mind,’ Clowes told BuzzFeed.” 

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Since word broke that his movie was an expert work of plagiarism, LeBeouf has addressed the situation on Twitter in a multi-part apology:

So at least he isn't Michael Bay. But, still, once a plagiarist, always a plagiarist. Which perhaps is best illustrated by the possibility that LeBeouf may have plagiarized the first part of his apology for plagiarizing in the first place.

[USA Today]

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