Trigger warning: this post deals with rape and sexual assault and may be distressing to some readers.
There are some celebrity stories that don’t seem particularly interesting as you skim past them, but the more that you read about them, the more fascinating they become.
Shia LaBeouf’s rape allegation is one of those stories. Not just because of the circumstances of the alleged crime, but because of the way that we, as a community, have reacted.
As Nina Funnell pointed out on Mamamia over the weekend, LaBeouf, star of the Transformers franchise and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, can be a bit of a nit. His public behaviour is often inappropriate. He has stormed out of interviews. He disrupted a Broadway show (for which he was arrested for disorderly conduct, harassment and trespass and served a few days in prison).
Plus, he’s an artist whose art pieces and performances aren’t for every taste.
#IAMSORRY is one of those divisive performance art pieces. And it was the setting of a much speculated-about sexual assault.
In February, LaBeouf sat at a wooden table in a room with a paper bag on his head for five days. In front of him were a number of props reflecting films that he had been in, including a Transformers toy, a whip (presumably referencing Indiana Jones), a pair of pliers, some chocolates and a bottle of whiskey. The paper bag on his head read: “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE”.
People were invited in to sit with him, one-by-one. Several people who went in to see him said that he cried the whole time. Certainly videos taken inside his performance (including the one below) show him looking very sad.