ALL APOLOGIES: Shia LaBeouf’s Crying Game


DAILY BEAST: In case you haven’t been on the Internet for the past few hours, let me fill you in on the latest in Shia-sanity. Starting [Tuesday] morning at 11:00 AM PT, LaBeouf ensconced himself in a tiny, empty art gallery at the corner of Beverly and Fuller in Los Angeles—directly across the street from the offices of BuzzFeed. The windows were glazed, with black letters affixed to them: #IAMSORRY Shia LaBeouf. The location suggested a work of art; the hashtag and seemingly strategic proximity to one of the world’s most successful viral content factories suggested an Internet stunt. It was a little bit of both. This gallery weirdness seemed like something that had been brewing for weeks. At a press conference Monday for Lars von Trier’s Nyphomaniac at the Berlin Film Festival, the 27-year-old actor was asked what it was like to do a movie with explicit sex scenes. LaBeouf, in a dirty baseball hat and missing one of his bottom teeth, answered by quoting a French soccer player: “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” He then walked out of the room. That wasn’t all. LaBeouf showed up to the premiere of the film with a paper bag over his head. “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE” (a phrase he’s tweeted every day for weeks) was written on the bag in sharpie. Last year, LaBeouf was accused of plagiarizing Daniel Clowes’s graphic novella Jusin M. Damiano for the short film Initially, he claimed that he “got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation.” Then he was accused of plagiarizing his apologies. In January, LaBeouf said his plagiarism was really a hoax—a work of performance art that he would be chronicling with the hashtag #stopcreating. On January 10 he retired from public life. Which brings us to Beverly and Fuller. After waiting in line while four other people were shown into the gallery by a bouncer, one at a time, it was finally my turn to enter. The light was low. The room was empty. A young, arty woman stood behind a small plywood table. On it were artifacts from LaBeouf’s career: a whip (Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull), a transformer (Transformers), and so on. There was a wrench, too, and some Hershey’s Kisses. There was even a book by Clowes himself—and a bowl full of hateful tweets inspired by LaBeouf’s plagiarism scandal. MORE

RELATED: A Brief History Of Shia LaBeouf Copying The Work Of Others Without Credit

PREVIOUSLY: Shia LaBeouf posted his new short film online on Monday, having first debuted the work at the May 2012 Cannes Film Festival. The piece stars Jim Gaffigan as an online film critic named Howard Cantour, and it is almost a direct adaptation of Justin M. Damiano, a 2007 comic written and drawn by famed artist Daniel Clowes. Nowhere in the promotion for or credits of the film does LaBeouf mention the Clowes comic; Eric Reynolds, longtime editor of Clowes’ comics and associate publisher at Fantagraphics, called the film “shameless theft!” “The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I’ve never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf,” Clowes told BuzzFeed. “I’ve never even seen one of his films that I can recall — and I was shocked, to say the least, when I saw that he took the script and even many of the visuals from a very personal story I did six or seven years ago and passed it off as his own work. I actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.” MORE