For the past month, Shia LaBeouf has been embroiled in a very public plagiarism scandal. This week, the controversy came to a head when LaBeouf announced via Twitter that he is "retiring from all public life." The whole scandal has been bizarre, messy, and hard to follow, so we're breaking it down. Here's what happened:
Dec. 16: LaBeouf Is Publicly Accused of Plagiarism
Earlier that week, Howard Cantour, a short film directed by LaBeouf, debuted on the internet. Soon after, news broke that Daniel Clowes was accusing LaBeouf of lifting dialogue and characters from his graphic novel, Justin M. Damiano.
Dec 16: LaBeouf Issues an Apology Via Twitter
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
I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
Dec. 18: People Realize His Apologies Were Plagiarized
This was lifted from Tiger Woods's apology for his 2009 cheating scandal:
I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 18, 2013
This quote came from former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who was apologizing for the US's part in the Vietnam War:
I was wrong, terribly wrong. I owe it to future generations to explain why.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 18, 2013
Dec. 29: He Keeps Plagiarizing Apologies
He took this from Jade Goody, a Big Brother UK contestant, who was apologizing for racist remarks:
I am sorry for the hurt and pain that my actions caused. This is not a publicity stunt.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 29, 2013
Jan. 1: LaBeouf Skywrites an Apology to Daniel Clowes
He tweeted a picture of the skywritten apology, which was done in LA, even though Clowes lives near San Francisco.
Jan. 6: He Plagiarizes Taylor Swift . . . Then Apologizes
In a tweet with a link to an article about his plagiarism scandal, LaBeouf lifted words from a speech Taylor Swift gave in 2012 inspiring kids to read more.
I try to read as much as I can. I try to read an informative article every day to stay read up on our world issues.http://t.co/H9uOIUUwzo— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 6, 2014
Then he apologized, kind of.
I WILL APOLOGIZE TO TAYLOR 2MRW. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!! EVERYBODY WANNA BOOOOO ME BUT I’M A FAN OF REAL POP CULTURE!!! NO DISRESPECT.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 6, 2014
When I woke up from the crazy nightmare I looked in the mirror & said GROW UP SHIA I take responsibility for my actions sorry @taylorswift13— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 7, 2014
Taylor Swift has, unsurprisingly, not commented.
Jan. 8: LaBeouf Shares Some Artwork
The actor tweeted out a graphic novel about his next short film, Daniel Boring, which I think we can all agree is a really creative title.
Jan. 8, Later: LaBeouf Receives a Cease-and-Desist Letter From Daniel Clowes
He tweeted it out, naturally.
Jan. 9: His Even Stevens costar comments on her former TV brother:
Christy Carlson Romano, who played Ren on the Disney Channel original series Even Stevens, commented on her TV brother's bizarre behavior: "He's always just honored his artistic instincts, even when he was 12 years old to about 15 or 16 as we worked together," she said. "So this is him experimenting with his artistic instincts. This is not just some breakdown, like some other child actors. This isn't some emotional neediness. This is something that he's actively doing."
Jan. 10: LaBeouf Decides He's Done With Public Life
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