Shia LaBeouf has followed in the footsteps of Canadian popstar Justin Bieber by announcing his retirement via Twitter.
The actor took to the social media site to pronounce “I am retiring from all public life”. You can read his triptych of ‘retirement’ posts below.
In light of the recent attacks against my artistic integrity, I am retiring from all public life.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 10, 2014
My love goes out to those who have supported me.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 10, 2014
The announcement comes after the film-maker became embroiled in a plagiarism row surrounding his short film ‘HowardCantour.com’ which resulted in LaBeouf being issued with a Cease and Desist by comic book author Daniel Clowes.
[Shia LaBeouf embroiled in plagiarism row]
But how did the controversial actor get to this point and what has led him to ‘retire’. Let’s break it down shall we?
1: HowardCantour.com appears online
The actor-turned director was accused of ripping off 'Justin M Damiano’, a short comic from the creator of ‘Ghost World’, as soon as his short film appeared online at shortoftheweek.com on December 16, 2013.
Commenters were quick to point out that the film borrowed heavily from Clowes’ comic and the short film was taken offline.
The website updated the original story with this comment: "Shortly after releasing this film and posting this review, it’s become clear that a significant portion of HowardCantour.com was taken without permission or credit from a comic by the legendary Daniel Clowes. We were led to believe by Shia and the filmmaking team that the story was original. The film has now been removed."
2: Shia fesses up
The 'Transformers' star took to Twitter the following day to admit his short film has been ‘inspired’ by the Clowes comic, posting: "In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation.”
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
In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
Im embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
He apologised to those who watched it assuming he had written the story, but fell short of apologising directly to Clowes, something he has since done via Twitter.
3: Turns out Shia plagiarised his apology
The eagle-eyed folks at AVClub.com were quick to point out that Shia seemed to have pinched his apology from a post on Yahoo Answers from 2010, written in response to a question about plagiarism.
Are you following so far?
4: LaBeouf takes to the skies to apologise
On January 1, the actor hired a plane to tow an apology across the skies of LA. The sky written message simply said “I AM SORRY DANIEL CLOWES”, but it soon drew the ire of Hollywood stars Lena Dunham, Seth Rogen and Patton Oswalt who took to Twitter to criticise the actions of the beleaguered actor.
I've always felt, utterly and unchangeably, that only sociopaths hire skywriters.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) January 4, 2014
This is by far the most I've ever been entertained by Shia LaBeouf.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) January 2, 2014
Dear Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook): If you're gonna be that dumb, delusional AND boring when you speak, just go ahead and plagiarize.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 2, 2014
How did Shia respond? By apologising to Dunham with a tweet plagiarised from her own Twitter feed!
5: The plot thickens
On January 8, the actor posted an image purporting to be a storyboard for his next short, entitled “Daniel Boring” which… just happens to be the title of another Daniel Clowes comic. The inclusion of photos of Seth Rogen and Patton Oswalt in the post suggests that Shia is attempting a joke, but it quickly backfires.
Storyboard for my next short "Daniel Boring" its like Fassbinder meets half-baked Nabokov on Gilligan's Island pic.twitter.com/sarRnqYws4— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 8, 2014
6: Clowes issues Cease and Desist
Later that day, LaBeouf posts photos of a cease and desist letter from Clowes’ lawyer to his own. The letter outlines "clear copyright infringement and misappropriation of Daniel Clowes’ work” urging LaBeouf’s lawyer to bring his client’s actions under control.
“Brian, your client is seriously out of control. He must stop his improper and outlandish conduct directed at Mr Clowes.”
“We have been waiting since December 27 to hear how Mr LaBeouf intends to make right, but all that has happened is further wrongful acts… such as Mr LaBeouf’s New Years’ Day sky-writing frolic that exposed Mr Clowes. to further ridicule.”
Read the missive in full below.
Well, it seems like the Cease and Desist may just have been enough to bring the errant actor under control, but to be fair, the plagiarism row is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to LaBeouf’s recent erratic behaviour, which includes:
Being beaten up in London for filming a vomiting girl.
Taking LSD for a new film, only to find out he’d taken the wrong drug.
Sending pictures of his penis to land a role in Nymphomaniac.
Annoying the cast of ‘Fury’ by refusing to shower.
Getting buck naked for a music video.
Annoying Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford.
Threatening a guy in a bar with a knife.
So can Shia make good on his New Years’ Resolution? Looks like he’s already broken it just 10 days into 2014.
2014 Resolution - I need to work on being a less controversial tweeter.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013
See Shia in action in the explicit trailer for his new film 'Nymphomaniac' below.