Terran Warden, A&E Columnist
Shia LaBeouf, the 28-year-old “Transformers” actor, is making headlines once again, and this time it’s not for wearing a paper bag over his head or starring in the Transformers films.
LaBeouf said in a new interview for Dazed and Confused magazine that he is a victim of rape, which occurred during his performance art exhibit.
LaBeouf first began his exhibit in January 2014 by labeling his Twitter account “a meta-modernist performance art,” followed by a string of apology tweets and a skywriting message of “#StopCreating,” in response to claims he plagiarized another’s work.
LaBeouf then began his work as “a multi-platform meditation on celebrity and vulnerability,” according to Dazed and Confused. These actions included quoting a line about seagulls when leaving the Berlin Film Festival Press Conference for his film, “Nymphomaniac,” on Feb. 9, followed by his infamous “I am not famous anymore” paper bag over his head on the red carpet.
LaBeouf began his art exhibit Feb. 11 with two other artists in a Los Angeles gallery — where the alleged rape occurred.
The art exhibit, entitled #IAMSORRY, consisted of LaBeouf sitting in a tuxedo and another paper bag while attendees entered one at a time, bringing with them an “implement” of choice from a table. The “implements” included:
A Transformers Toy
An Indiana Jones Whip
A bottle of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
A pair of pliers
A bowl of hateful tweets to LaBeouf
A copy of the book he allegedly plagiarized
Attendees reported that the performance was like dehumanizing someone who was already dehumanized by fame, and was disturbing, intensely honest and extremely personal.
Since then, LaBeouf told Dazed and Confused that “One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me… There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with disheveled hair and smudged lipstick.”
LaBeouf then adds that “On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event — we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it travelled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.”
Since the interview broke headlines—and broke my heart—the two other artists involved in the project have come out saying that they “put a stop to it” as soon as they realized what was going on, adding, “nowhere did we state that people could do whatever they wanted to Shia” via their Twitter accounts.
In my opinion, the allegations — whether they are completely true or not — must be believed by everyone.
What kind of a person would you be if you didn’t believe someone telling you that they were raped?
Even worse, what kind of person would you be if you denied someone’s rape claims when they were backed up by other witnesses?
Not the kind of person I want to be around.
But that hasn’t stopped people. People and media alike are currently dismissing his allegations — questioning his mental health, claiming he cannot be raped because he is a man or saying it is a ploy for attention.
But the fact that he is a man or famous doesn’t make his claims any less credible.
Maybe he is mentally ill, maybe he isn’t, but his odd actions were for art. If he is, that only makes the claims even more awful, as someone was preying upon the mentally ill.
Rape is rape.
And whoever this woman was, she is just as evil as a man raping a child, or a man raping a drunk woman.
Enough with the double standards.
This woman took advantage of the art and his vulnerability, which was exactly the point of the art piece. I am on LaBeof’s side, and I will help to end Rape Culture for men and women.
Shia LaBeouf deserves to be taken seriously.
In other news:
A new video of Lana Del Rey has leaked online which features Lana being raped, fighting the rape, and crying afterwards. It was believed to be a new Marilyn Manson music video, but Manson has denied all claims of relation to the truly disturbing video.
Susan Boyle — remember her? — has found her first boyfriend at 53 years old, saying he is a “perfect gentlemen.”
Paul Walker was remembered by family and friends on the one-year anniversary of his fatal accident, Nov. 30.
Snooki got married to her baby daddy, Jionni LaVelle. I thought I would never see the day!
Busta Rhymes fell off the stage while performing at a New York concert, which he later laughed about, just like us.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be hosting the 2015 Golden Globes award show, premiering their first television ad for the show this week.
David Beckham and his 15-year-old son were involved in a car accident — I’m praying that the accident doesn’t affect his looks.