You guys, did Shia LaBeouf just plagiarize his apology FOR PLAGIARIZING? Because it kind of seems like he did...but hey, judge for yourself. For starters, here's what LaBeouf is accused of plagiarizing, ICYMI: Yesterday, LaBeouf posted his 2012 short film Howard Cantour on online for the world to marvel at for free, and marvel they did—at his stupidity. It wasn't long before comic books fans noted a lot of specific similarities between LaBeouf's short film and iconic indie comics author Dan Clowes' 2007 comic Justin M. Damiano.
When Clowes was contacted by Buzzfeed about the film, this is what he had to say: "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." So, you know, lots of super damning evidence.
Today, LaBeouf owned up to the plagiarism with an apology meant to appease Clowes' fans, posted in a series of tweets on his Twitter:
Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work. In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation. I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. I was truly moved by his piece of work and I knew that it would make a poignant and relevant short. 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. I fucked up.
Fine, but here's the issue—LaBeouf's apology might have been plagiarized as well. Of course, this could be a coincidence, so no pointing fingers yet, but it is worth noting that LaBeouf has plagiarized apologies before: In February of this year, LaBeouf made a public apology to Alec Baldwin—but he stole parts of it from an essay in Esquire that ran in 2009.
With this apology, LaBeouf is accused of plagiarizing a few sentences from, of all things, a Yahoo! Answers post by a user named Lili four years ago. Note, the following sentences from LaBeouf's apology: "Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work."
Now, read Lili's post on Yahoo! Answers:
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.
But note that there's a difference between flat-out plagiarizing and meditating very creatively on an earlier artist.
Ack, this doesn't look good. Your move, Shia.