Hollywood actor Shia LaBeouf has posted on Twitter that he is "retiring from all public life" following "the recent attacks against my artistic integrity". He added "My love goes out to those who have supported me", and finally "#stopcreating".
The decision comes after LaBeouf became embroiled in a plagiarism row with graphic novelist Daniel Clowes. After his film Howard Cantour.com was found to have lifted dialogue from a Clowes short story, LaBeouf admitted "I fucked up" and posted an apology online. However, it emerged that the apology had been lifted from Yahoo! Answers, and LaBeouf continued to post apologies taken from others. Kanye West, Gucci Mane, a Texan politician and Lena Dunham all got quoted over the following days; he even sent a plane to etch I Am Sorry Daniel Clowes in the sky over Los Angeles.
The sincerity of these apologies was further undermined by his stance on intellectual property, arguing that "appropriation has been the most influential theme in art since the 70s... It's not plagiarism in the digital age – it's repurposing." He then posted a storyboard for a film apparently riffing on another Clowes story, as well as the subsequent letters from Clowes's lawyers demanding that he cease his actions.
Some voices retweeted by LaBeouf call his stance "performance art" that "parodied the modern absurdity of our fake apologies for developing the natural progression of art", but others didn't give him the benefit of the doubt. Actor Patton Oswalt described him as "crazy AND moronic", adding "If you're gonna be that dumb, delusional AND boring when you speak, just go ahead and plagiarize."
It's all part of a wave of strange behaviour from the increasingly method-leaning actor. He took acid for the fortcoming Charlie Countryman, sent sex tapes and pictures of his penis to the producers of Nymphomaniac, and reportedly stopped washing on the set of war movie Fury to better aid his understanding of trench life.
Perhaps the public's failure to see him as a both a Creative Commons crusader and neo-dada digital collagist won't have him retiring altogether though. Justin Bieber, himself recently at the heart of a media backlash, also retired on Twitter recently – only to reverse his decision soon after. As one of his team told the Wall Street Journal: "Regarding his recent tweeting about his 'retirement' Justin felt that this was the best way to respond to the latest in a long line of inaccurate or wildly exaggerated media reports about him. He chose to channel his frustration into playing along with this baseless rumor." It is unclear whether LaBeouf is using a similar strategy.
(c) 2014 Guardian Newspapers Limited.
Original headline: Shia LaBeouf 'retiring from all public life'
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