Shia LaBeouf has admitted not crediting an author as the inspiration for his short film. After debuting at the Cannes Film Festival last year, LaBeouf's well-received HowardCantour.com was released on Vimeo earlier this week, but the actor was soon to be in the headlines for the wrong reasons as BuzzFeed revealed his film heavily plagiarized plot and dialog from Daniel Clowes' short story "Justin M. Damiano." Both the short story and film open with exactly the same monologue, and the similarities continue throughout the 11-minute short, which has since been replaced with a trailer.
Clowes tells BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" to see "the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story" passed off as original work. "I actually can't imagine what was going through his mind." Hours later, in a series of increasingly remorseful tweets, LaBeouf admitted he was guilty of making a mistake, but explained the plagiarism away as getting "lost in the creative process."
"I fucked up."
"Copying isn't particularly creative work," explains LaBeouf, "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." LaBeouf then goes on to apologize directly to Clowes, closing his apology with a simple but authoritative statement: "I fucked up."