Is It Wrong to Feel (Slightly) Bad for Shia LaBeouf?

Things are not looking up for you buddy
I have no idea what to make of Shia LaBeouf. The controversy swirling around the young actor continued when on Friday, LaBeouf tweeted that he would forever be retiring from the public eye. Why would such a young up and coming actor/director do such a thing? To catch you up, LaBeouf was accused last month of plagiarism.

LaBeouf "wrote" and directed a short film, called, that was later found to be a complete rip-off of the graphic novella Justin M. Damiano by artist Dan Clowes. Apparently there are parts of the film literally lifted out of the novel, leaving very little reason to believe that LaBeouf didn't know he was plagiarizing the work.

When it came to light, at first LaBeouf was reluctant to apologize or to say anything about compensation for Clowes. He merely said he was truly inspired by the work of Clowes, and what's so wrong with that? But inspiration and blatant copycatting are very different. Naturally, Clowes has filed a lawsuit against the actor, which moved the entire story into the public eye. At first LaBeouf didn't say much of much, unless you count his random acts of tweeting as forms of apology, which many people do. (My favorite tweet from this period is #original.) But he did eventually say sorry various times to the artists, again via Twitter, and admit his mistake.

On New Year's Day, LaBeouf took it one step further and hired a skywriting company to write, "I am sorry Daniel Clowes" across the Los Angeles skies.

It might have been nice for Clowes, except he lives in San Francisco. But seemingly skywriting an apology didn't help at all, as one might think it would, and so LaBeouf has folded his cards and told the world that he's done with everyone. He even, once again, expressed his sentiments in skywriting with the phrase #stopcreating splayed across the sky. I wonder if he has some kind of discount club card with a skywriting company.

Quite a few people, some celebrities including Patton Oswalt and Lena Duham, have taken to the interwebs to publicly lambast LeBeouf for his immaturity and bad apology skills. Call me crazy, but I feel slightly bad for him.

The actor got his start on the Disney Channel portraying Louis Stevens on the hit show Even Stevens. Unlike some of his other Disney comrades, he shook the moniker off pretty quickly with a series of film roles. Also unlike some of his Disney colleagues, it never felt like LeBeouf needed to prove that he wasn't Disney anymore; he just wasn't, and he never bashed Disney either. He has always credited his success to the company. His film roles have waxed and waned, from the critically acclaimed Holes to the moneymaking Transformers series to the not that awful Wall Street sequel among others.

This story continues on the next page.

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MadMac topcommenter

Unless Mr. Clowe has some serious money behind him, I see a settlement involving a credit added after the fact in his future--and nothing more. I don't feel bad for the thief. He's another petulent millionaire.

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