Shia LaBeouf is in hot water today after the Internet called out the actor for plagiarizing his new short film “HowardCantour.com” from Daniel Clowes’ obscure 2007 comic “Justin M. Damiano.”
Both story lines revolve around the inner dialogue of a disgruntled film critic
— and it ended up being film critics who called LaBeouf’s bluff.
While no one picked up on the similarities between the two projects when the actor’s short film debuted last May at the Cannes Film Festival, the Internet went nuts Monday when it debuted online.
Those familiar with Clowes’ work immediately noticed that LaBeouf lifted the characters and dialogue directly from Clowes’ comic panels.
As word quickly spread of LaBeouf’s alleged intellectual property theft, thanks in part to a story on BuzzFeed, the short film was blocked on its hosting site, Vimeo.
And Cowles had no idea.
“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,” Clowes told BuzzFeed. “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.”
After realising Clowes wasn’t credited whatsoever in the credits for LaBeouf’s film, Eric Reynolds, longtime editor of Clowes’ comics and associate publisher at Fantagraphics, called the short “shameless theft!”
LeBeouf took to Twitter to admit and apologise for his mistake, saying he was simply “inspired” but knows he “f—-d up”:
To watch the short film in question and original comic, click here >
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.