Shia LaBeouf owns up to his mistake. Shortly after news spreads like wildfire that his new short film "HowardCantour.com" is a carbon copy of Daniel Clowes' comic "Justin M. Damiano", the "Charlie Countryman" actor takes to his Twitter to issue a public apology.
"Copying isn't particularly creative work. Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work," he began. "In my excitement and naivete as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation."
"I'm embarrassed that I failed to credit @danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration," he went on. "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."
"I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work," he continued before concluding with "I f**ked up."
LaBeouf's film was released online on Monday, December 16, a year after premiering at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. It takes a dig at online film critics with Jim Gaffigan as the titular character. It has since become password-protected after the plagiarism issues arose.
According to those who managed to watch the film before it became unavailable, "HowardCantour.com" was a word-for-word and scene-for-scene copy of Clowes' work. Even the narration at the beginning of the movie and the comic are allegedly identical.
Clowes previously commented, "I've never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf. 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."