Shia LaBeouf May Face Legal Action for Plagiarism, Is Now Plagiarizing Shepard Fairey and Kanye West

According to the Associated Press (via the New York Daily News), the publisher for Dan Clowes, whose comic Shia Labeouf used without attribution for his short film Howard, is considering legal action against the Wall Street 2 star. Shia is still lifting his apologies too, but we’ll get to that in a second.

Clowes declined to comment directly, but according to his publisher, Fantagraphics’ Eric Reynolds, Clowes “is exploring his legal options.”

Reynolds said Wednesday he was “baffled” by the news of LaBeouf’s project, which he and Clowes got wind of on Monday.

“LaBeouf changed the name of the main character, but he used the comic as a direct script and storyboard,” Reynolds said. “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’s short began to circulate in 2012 at festivals like the Cannes Film Festival, but was just posted online officially on Monday. Soon afterward, it was taken down, and LaBeouf took to Twitter to apologize for lifting ideas from Clowes’ work and passing them off as his own.

Reynolds added that LaBeouf has not made any attempts to reach out to Clowes directly to apologize. “As far as I know the only comments he has given were those late night Twitter comments a few nights ago,” said Reynolds.

It doesn’t sound like Shia has made any money off Howard, so I’m not sure what could suing him would accomplish. It seems like Labeouf made it mostly for the prestige and respect, which, obviously, has backfired spectacularly. Meanwhile, the court of public opinion seems to have already tried this case in a much more decisive way than the legal system ever could. It’s a bit sad. I don’t know what Shia Labeouf was thinking when he wrote those laws.

Right then, he’s still plagiarizing his Twitter apologies. Spin the wheel of public apologies!


I believe that’s Shepard Fairey, apologizing about lying about the source of the Obama HOPE poster he did.


That would be Mark Zuckerberg, 2006.


Ooh, ooh, I know this! Kanye West, 2010!

I admit, it’s kind of a fun Google game.

Okay, I think it’s pretty clear what he’s doing now. I’m thinking Shia’s thinking that the more apologies he steals and makes it all feel like a game for us, the more we might think he’s going for some elaborate art project (which he stole from James Franco and Joaquin Phoenix), to distract from his history of unacknowledged plagiarism. Which, to recap, includes:

The giveaway is that before he knew he’d been caught, he stole from people he considered influences, literary or artistic figures that he probably thought were just obscure enough, lifting lyrics from deep cut Bukowski and David Mamet tracks. Once he knew he’d been caught, it was a bunch of random celebrities to make it seem like it was all a game. Anyway, I’m hoping the Nobel Prize adds a category for Theories on Shia LaBeouf’s Particular Brand of Crazy this year so I have something to work for. It just sucks that Shia Labeouf already took credit for it.


Shia Labeouf