Some weird stuff is going on with Shia LaBeouf. The past few months have been a trying time for the Transformers star, who's embroiled himself in a distressing plagiarism scandal that has amounted to some truly uncomfortable "performance art." If you've missed the Twitter and tabloid chattering, don't fear. Here's the definitive roundup of LaBeouf’s antics, starting from the beginning:
Does this look like a man you want to mess with?
After LaBeouf quit a Broadway musical following disagreements with Baldwin, he tweeted out an apology that lifted liberally from an Esquire article. Everyone noticed.
He then tweeted out a response: "Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school," which is a verbatim quote from playwright David Mamet. Also not a man you want to mess with.
The rest of 2013 was fairly quiet for LaBeouf, until his 2012 short film HowardCantour.com was released online. His first film as a director premiered pretty quietly at Cannes, but online viewers soon noticed it was strikingly similar to a graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. Like, basically identical.
LaBeouf took to Twitter to defend himself with this Tweet, which was lifted from a four–year–old Yahoo! comment:
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
After apologizing several times to Clowes, LaBeouf issued this brief mea culpa:
I fucked up.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
This is when stuff starts to get really weird: he stole (through Twitter) Tiger Woods' infidelity apology, Robert McNamara's famous Vietnam apology, a Mark Zuckerberg apology and so on ... you get the point.
I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 18, 2013
I was wrong, terribly wrong. I owe it to future generations to explain why.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 18, 2013
I want to thank all of you who have written in and created groups and protested. Even though I wish I hadn't made so many of you angry.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 19, 2013
This week, LaBeouf is doing what's marketed as penance for his offenses: He's sitting in an art gallery in Los Angeles, wearing a paper bag over his head, crying. The exhibit is called "#IAMSORRY" and it — and LaBeouf — will be there until Sunday.
The paper bag reads "I am not famous," which is oddly similar to a Billboard magazine cover in which the musician Sia wears a paper bag reading, "I don't want to be famous."