17.12.13 by Jeff

Shia LaBeouf rips off Daniel Clowes: A New Level of Plagiarism is Reached!

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images


Finally some Buzzfeed content that is actually worth sharing! In case you haven’t heard Shia LaBeouf is in hell right now, and it appears he’s ended up there because of an insatiable desire to plagiarize people smarter than him. I’m actually suspicious it’s all part of a performance piece or something because it’s way too funny to be real.

Ok so, earlier this year Shia LaBeouf dropped out of Daniel Sullivan’s production of “Orphans” and used his Twitter to share a screenshot of his apology email to his co-star Alec Baldwin. The email contained what appears to be a heartfelt message. The Internet went nuts, when Gawker revealed that his apology was completely copied from an Esquire article in their “How to Be a Man” Issue, from 2009.

Flash forward to Monday of this week. Shia LaBeouf posted his film “HowardCantour.com” online and the Internet exploded with controversy. It appeared the film was a complete rip-off of famed cartoonist Daniel Clowes’ comic “Justin M. Damiano”.

The film, starring Jim Gaffigan as a film critic, contains characters and huge sections of narration lifted directly off the pages of Clowes’ story. You can watch the film and see panels from Clowes’ comic here.

Late last night, Shia LaBeouf took to Twitter to apologize to Clowes, but not without adding a defence for his actions:


“Copying isn’t particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else’s idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.” — Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013 (source)


And now for my favourite part! It turns out that even this statement was lifted from someone else. It appears that in order to write this Shia LaBeouf needed the help of an entry on Yahoo! Answers, by a user named Lili, from 4 years ago:


“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.” (source)


Daniel Clowes is now pursuing legal action (as he should). I still can’t believe this is real, it’s too amazing.

Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

  • michaelwithpaws

    And now we can just sit back and wait until Jim Gaffigan turns this into a routine.

  • mazefancier

    Hate when people use that quote to excuse theft. Inspiration in general shouldn’t mean “make something almost exactly the same.”

  • Gaëtan Colpart

    Remember when he ripped off a belgian movie ? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVemNLOwCJ0

  • Carter Reagan

    Come on man, is this really that big of a deal? The web seems to be outraged. Clowes makes his money, little Shia makes his money. Nobody is harmed. What the fuck ever. BOOOOOOOM posts artist content “After the jump” to get click throughs. Apples and oranges maybe, but from the same grocery store.

    • do you honestly believe this? nobody is harmed?? the only hope a creative person has to live off of what they do is in a world where people are actually paid for their ideas. blatantly stealing someone else’s work and calling it your own isn’t a big deal? your opinion may change when you make something worth stealing

      • Carter Reagan

        Ha. Ok. I design low voltage systems for hospitals and shit. I wish people would steal my (firm’s) work. Might make the world a better place. Don’t get me wrong, I like what you’re rad Jeff. Pow Wow is sick, etc. Just seems kind of kookish to carry on about one millionaire co-opting another millionaire’s idea regarding meta Hollywood bullshit.

      • i just think the worst thing the art community can do is roll over when Hollywood wants to co-opt their work. i hear ya though in terms of not really caring about celebrity problems

      • dersurhodes

        Strongly agree Jeff. This is a really sad example of how original art gets buried without accreditation. With the birth of tumblr etc imagine how much this happens on smaller scales!

  • Annalise Prodor

    this blog may be of interest. satirical take on artists copying artists: http://whoworeitbetter.info/

  • Annalise Prodor
  • ya love this blog

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