Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's ... another Shia LaBeouf apology!
The "Transformers" actor came under fire in December after his short-film "HowardCantour.com" was called out as a note-for-note rip-off of artist Daniel Clowes' comic book "Justin M. Damiano." LaBeouf apologized to Clowes on Twitter using a plagiarized apology, and proceeded to spend every subsequent day tweeting out different apologies, all of them lifted from other famous apologies.
But on Wednesday (January 1), LaBeouf's apology tour took a turn for the original: The actor hired World Wide Sky Advertising to sky-write a five-mile long message over Los Angeles: "I am sorry Daniel Clowes," as straight-to-the-point as it gets, and fewer than 140 characters, to boot.
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
The sky-written message appears to be LaBeouf's first wholly original apology to Clowes (assuming you don't think he was simply taking a page from the Wicked Witch of the West's playbook), but it's hardly his first public comment on the matter. Since news of the "HowardCantour.com" controversy first spread on December 17, LaBeouf has tweeted no fewer than 17 apologies, cribbed from previous apologies made by actor Val Kilmer, director Lars von Trier, RedState.com blogger Erick Erickson, and many more.
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, 2013
I am sorry for all the plagiarized tweets, they all were unintelligent, ambiguous and needlessly hurtful.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013
You have my apologies for offending you for thinking I was being serious instead of accurately realizing I was mocking you.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 31, 2013
For his part, Clowes is said to be looking into legal options against LaBeouf, according to Clowes' editor and Fantagraphics publisher Eric Reynolds.
"His apology is a non-apology, absolving himself of the fact that he actively misled, at best, and lied, at worst, about the genesis of the film," Reynolds told BuzzFeed last month. "No one 'assumes' authorship for no reason. He implied authorship in the film credits itself, and has gone even further in interviews. He clearly doesn't get it, and that's disturbing. I'm not sure if it's more disturbing that he plagiarized, or that he could rationalize it enough to think it was OK and that he might actually get away with it. Fame clearly breeds a false sense of security.""