New year…clean slate? That seems to be what Shia LaBeouf is hoping for, after he came under fire in December when it was discovered that his short film HowardCantour.com used parts directly from Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel Justin M. Damiano.
On New Year’s Day, the actor hired a skywriting team to spread his apology across the Los Angeles sky. The 5-mile long message simply read, “I am sorry Daniel Clowes.”
Unfortunately, the grand gesture doesn’t seem to have done the trick. “I imagine airplane messaging is the norm in Hollywood, but someone really should have informed Mr. LaBeouf that Mr. Clowes lives in the Bay Area before he went through all that trouble,” the artist’s publisher, Eric Reynolds, said.
On Dec. 17, Shia addressed the situation on Twitter. “Im embarrassed that I failed to credit
@danielclowes for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration,” he wrote. “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.”
Since then, he has continued to bring up the issue on the social media site, acknowledging Daniel directly and issuing multiple apologies, but it seems he’s not getting off that easy.. “[Shia] has given interviews where he has had every opportunity to pay his respects to the source material, but instead he continues to position himself as the sole creator,” Eric said last month. “So, no, a half a–ed insincere and plagiarized apology on Twitter is not enough, and Dan is currently exploring his legal options.”