This is just the latest in a series of bizarre antics that LaBeouf has engaged in since apparently being caught plagiarizing one of Clowes's comics for a short film he made a few years ago and then released online earlier this month. The film, HowardCantour.com, was accused of being a near-complete adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ comic Justin M. Damiano. Eric Reynolds, longtime editor of Daniel Clowes’ comics and associate publisher at Fantagraphics, called the film “shameless theft” after seeing that the premise as well as large chunks of dialogue are identical to the 2007 comic.
“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 said at the time. “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.”
Clowes has remained mostly silent publicly, although Reynolds later followed up to say that he understood Clowes was considering legal action.
The actor and filmmaker's first apology, delivered via Twitter, turned out later to have been copied and pasted from a Yahoo! Answers thread on delivering an apology. Nearly every day since, he's had one or more tweets paraphrasing famous apologies, culminating with a flurry of messages yesterday, all quoted from other sources, and at least one finally seeming to acknowledge that LaBeouf is just messing with everyone.
In fact, the bizarre behavior has led some to suspect that the whole thing is some elaborate hoax or publicity stunt, and some have questioned whether Clowes might even be in on it. There is, however, nothing at this point to substantiate those suspicions.
Here's the tweet from the skywriters:
Shia Labeouf apologizes in LA to Daniel Clowes using our skywriting team! 5 mile long apology. That's a big SORRY! pic.twitter.com/Qa3HHF4xJQThat came hours after LaBoeuf took to Twitter to once again copy and paste a bunch of other famous apologies into his feed, changing a word here or there to make it a bit more applicable...
— Skywriting Aerial Ad (@Worldwideskyads) January 1, 2014
Mr. Clowes, I can only ask that you view my apology as a stepping stone toward repairing this misunderstanding between us. I’m sorry. — Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013This one's from former Batman Val Kilmer, who had made a number of insensitive remarks about the community in which he lived during interviews over the years, apparently as jokes. The New Mexico locals were understandably not thrilled to have one of their most prominent residents saying that he lives in the “homicide capital of the Southwest” and that 80% “of the people in my county are drunk.”
That apology was delivered when Kilmer needed to get approval for his Pecos River Ranch to open three guest houses to paying customers, so it's possible LaBeouf selected this one because it seems somewhat less than
2014 Resolution – I need to work on being a less controversial tweeter. — Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013This one's originally from The Voice co-host Blake Shelton; it doesn't appear to have anything particularly backhanded or insincere about it on the face of it, but maybe it would in context. Certainly it's a bit on the nose, since it actually addresses Twitter. The next one does that, too, but only because LeBoeuf added/changed some words.
I am sorry for all the plagiarized tweets, they all were unintelligent, ambiguous and needlessly hurtful. — Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013This came from director Lars von Trier when, during a Cannes Film Festival press conference, he bungled an attempt to talk about the fundamental potential for evil in every person (at least that's what he later claimed). Instead, he came out with "I am a Nazi" and that he sympathized with Hitler. Needless to say, word spread quickly on social media and it turned into a massive embarrassment for the festival and a PR nightmare for von Trier and his distributors.
You have my apologies for offending you for thinking I was being serious instead of accurately realizing I was mocking you.This one, the most transparently aggressive thing LaBoeuf has "said" yet, came from conservative bloger Erick Erickson, who tweeted a link to a coat hanger wholesaler at Texas pro-choice advocates in order to provoke a reaction and then wrote up a blog mocking that predictably negative reaction.
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013
Finally, LaBeouf shared a photo of the skywriting himself and ended on this note, apparently just copied from the dictionary. Capitalization his; not sure whether it's germane to this whole, elaborate whatever-the-heck-it-is that LaBoeuf has going on through all of this.
CLOUD: – vapor floating in the atmosphere – remote servers used to SHARE DATA – to make LESS CLEAR or TRANSPARENT pic.twitter.com/jw9JlEi791
— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) January 1, 2014