Unethical Quote of the Week: Actor Shia LaBeouf

“Fuck you. This is fucking bullshit. Do you know my life? Do you know who the fuck I am? Do you know who I am?”

—Former “Transformers” actor (and  Indiana Jones son) Shia LaBoeof, as he was arrested and dragged out of the Broadway musical “Cabaret” during a performance where he had been smoking a joint in his seat and periodically yelling at the actors.

Contrary to the lyrics, Shia, I think it may be time to consider sitting alone in your room...

Contrary to the lyrics, Shia, I think it may be time to consider sitting alone in your room…

Shia obviously has former child actor emotional problems and I sincerelywish him the best, but if there is anything an individual of any note, connections or accomplishment can utter that has signature significance—to anybody, from a librarian to a police officer, “do you know who I am?” and all variations thereof is it.

Yes, Shia, we know who you are. You’re an asshole. Next question?

Shia LaBeouf, Plagiarism Addict, With Much Worse To Come

Shia past and present, with apology...

The child star past and present, with apology…

Actor Shia LaBeouf, known to Disney Channel aficionados as the annoying little brother on “Even Stevens” and to movie fans as Indiana Jones’ son and the Transformers Guy, is so much more, and not in a good way. His rapidly expanding list of reckless and socially-clueless episodes, including the obligatory misconduct behind the wheel of an expensive car, signals that he may be the new Lindsay Lohan, a talented former child-star raised to adulthood without basic life-skills, respect for others, and an appreciation of the difference between right and wrong. This is a tragic scenario that we are cursed to witness again and again—we saw it in 2013 in the increasingly obnoxious and desperate conduct of pop star Justin Bieber. Give a child wealth, power and adulation without first imbuing him or her with values, discipline and humility and what do you get? A menace.

As LaBeouf’s acting career has waned with his growing reputation as an untrustworthy (and sometimes violent) jerk, he has refashioned himself into an aspiring artist. Unfortunately, he lacks some basic traits of successful artists, like integrity and creativity. His inclination, being raised, like most child stars, in an unstable environment by self-absorbed and dysfunctional parents, is to cheat. In 2012, LaBeouf attached his name to three short graphic novels and a webcomic series. This year, we learned that at least two of the graphic novels contained text plagiarized from other writers. Then LaBeouf attached his name as writer to the short film (which he also directed) called “HowardCantour.com,” which was unveiled at the Cannes Film Festival and received some praise there. The  short, about an online film critic, included a strong resemblance to Daniel Clowes’ 2007 comic “Justin M. Damiano,” as well as large sections of dialogue directly lifted from it. No one picked up on the plagiarism until LaBeouf  released his film online.  Continue reading

Self-Serving Twitter Plagiarism From Shia LaBeouf

"How To Be A Jerk"

“How To Be A Jerk”

Actor Shia LaBeouf has two impressive achievements, neither anything to be proud of, but impressive nonetheless. In a showdown with World Champion Hollywood creep Alec Baldwin, LaBeouf, against all odds. managed to come off as the bigger jerk. In the process, he created, or at least gave unprecedented publicity to a new ethical transgression: Twitter plagiarism.

You will recall LaBeouf, if you recall him at all, as the former Disney Channel child star who had movie hits with “Disturbia” and the “Transformers” franchise, as well as gaining a form of lasting notoriety as Indiana Jones’ son in the fourth and lamest installment of that classic series. He also has established a reputation for being trouble, and this week it was revealed that he had been fired (the old “artistic differences” excuse) from what was supposed to be his Broadway debut in the new play “Orphans,” starring Baldwin. The exact reasons are unclear, but incompatibility with Baldwin was part of it.

How do I know that LaBeouf, rather than the famously volatile Baldwin was at fault? Simple, really. Baldwin is the show’s star; he has theater credentials; he’s an established pro. It is part of LaBeouf’s job to get along with him, not the other way around. He could also learn something from Baldwin, who, though it seems hard to imagine, was once an even bigger jerk than he is now—so big, that at one point his career had gone from losing the Jack Ryan franchise (to Harrison Ford) to playing the conductor in the sad and awful movie version of “Thomas the Tank Engine.” Baldwin knows where Shia is headed, and could help stop him from going there.

In the wake of his canning, LaBeouf took to his Twitter feed and posted various e-mails leading up to his fate. One of them was erudite and almost poetic:

“A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering.”

Hey! Jerk or not, this guy can write! He has a brain!

Well, no, not really: he has a computer, and can cut and paste. His words were lifted from Tom Chiarella’s essay in Esquire, “How To Be A Man.” Continue reading