All of Shia LaBeouf's Bizarre Performance Art, in One Timeline


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:

1. February 2013, part 1: plagiarized apology to Alec Baldwin.

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.

2. February, part 2: plagiarized plagiarism apology.

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.

3. December 2013, part 1: People found out he plagiarized his directorial debut.

The rest of 2013 was fairly quiet for LaBeouf, until his 2012 short film 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.

4. December, part 2: plagiarized plagiarism defense tweet.

LaBeouf took to Twitter to defend himself with this Tweet, which was lifted from a four–year–old Yahoo! comment:

After apologizing several times to Clowes, LaBeouf issued this brief mea culpa:

5. December, part 3: discovered that his own graphic novel was plagiarized.


News broke later in December that his two graphic novels Let’s Fucking Party and Stale N Mate were significantly plagiarized, lifting dialogue from Charles Bukowski and others.

6. December, part 4: tweeted out succession of plagiarized apology tweets from Tiger Woods, among others.

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.

7. January 2014: tweeted "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE."

22 times.

8. Present: sits and cries in art gallery with paper bag over his head.

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."