Monday, Dec. 16, it was revealed that Actor, Shia LaBeouf, had plagiarized entire sections of a graphic novella written by Author, Daniel Clowes, for his feature film: HowardCantour.com. LaBeouf has since apologized on Twitter; however, it was discovered by some Twitter sleuths earlier today, Wednesday, Dec. 18, that his apologies were plagiarized as well.
Below are LaBeouf's apology tweets, with proper accreditation to the original authors attached:
On Monday, LaBeouf wrote: "Copying isn't particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work."
The above tweet is a line-for-line copy of an answer given by a user on Yahoo! Answers.
Today, LaBeouf also tweeted: "I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart."
Another verbatim copy of an apology given by Tiger Woods after his affair.
LaBeouf then went on to finish his Twitter apology with: "I was wrong, terribly wrong. I owe it to future generations to explain why." And, "It starts with this...I'm sorry @danielclowes."
The question to all of this mess, which is causing a storm of backlash on social media, is why? Why is Shia LaBeouf stealing apologies to apologize for plagiarizing?
Does he feel that what he did does not merit an actual apology? Does he believe that it is his creative freedom to take passages from other people's work and add them to his own piece without accreditation? Was his Twitter account hacked? What, exactly, is his motive in these plagiarized tweets?
Whatever the reason, nothing about what has transcended over the past two days has made any sense. To plagiarize others in an apology for plagiarizing is either far too brash, like a kid who's caught red handed and decides to make fun of his accuser as a last resort at saving face, or some kind of brilliant, but tasteless, attempt at drumming up attention for his new movie.
To argue against the PR move, it appears that even Clowes' publisher, Fantagraphics, has no idea why LaBeouf is doing what he is doing.
LaBeouf "made no effort to obtain the rights to the material," Fantagraphics editor, Eric Reynolds told the LA Times in an interview today. "That a cog in the Hollywood machine could commit such a blatant transgression -- it's baffling."
Unlikely PR move or not, whatever the reason, as Reynolds said, this whole situation is truly baffling.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Leave a comment below and let us know your opinion on what is going on.