Shia LaBeouf’s Ugly and Misogynistic Redemption Tour
On Friday, Shia LaBeouf disputed director Olivia Wilde’s claims as to why he was fired from his next film don’t worry darling in a report of Variety. In emails he sent to the publication, LeBeouf claimed he left the film due to a lack of rehearsal time, contrary to Wilde’s claims in a recent profile, also in Varietythat the two had different working styles, stating that his acting process “requires[d] fighting energy.
Evidence provided by LaBeouf in the article included text messages from Wilde and a video she allegedly sent him two days after he claimed to have left production, asking if he could ‘make peace’ with actress Florence Pugh. , which he would have co-starred with in don’t worry darling. The video, in particular, seemed to satisfy social media users who were circulating rumors that Pugh developed a beef with Wilde during filming. People also pointed out what appeared to be a discrepancy between Wilde’s alleged pursuit of the actor amid conflicts with Pugh and the strict “no-asshole policy” she previously discussed in an interview.
Reactions to the article focused less on LaBeouf’s specific allegations and more on Wilde’s professionalism and values as a self-described feminist. However, the timing of LaBeouf’s allegations ultimately seems more questionable – and ominous – than Wilde’s skill as a director. Given the honey boy the current sexual assault and assault trial of his former girlfriend, singer FKA Twigs, which is due to go on trial next April, and his recent public appearances, we may have to strap in for what could be a tour of long, ugly and misogynistic redemption.
Before the Variety article made waves, LaBeouf was already making headlines after announcing that he had converted to Catholicism on Bishop Robert Barron’s YouTube channel. On Thursday, the actor sat down with the Word on Fire founder for a nearly 90-minute interview – his first after the trial in December – to discuss his newfound faith and the experiences that led to his conversion, including including suicidal thoughts and an upcoming film in which he portrays St. Padre Pio which is scheduled to premiere at the Venice Film Festival. It’s entirely possible that LaBeouf, who claims to have sought treatment following the December trial, came to his new faith in a genuine way. But how this personal factoid has been portrayed in the media – first exclusively for Fox News – is quite dubious, with headlines and articles uncritically heralding LaBeouf’s virtuous kingpin and mentioning his current abuse allegations as an unrelated aside.
Earlier this week, LaBeouf also appeared in the trailer for actor Jon Bernthal’s Weekly Podcast The real oneswhich one to american gigolo star posted on his Instagram page. Although their conversation is inaudible, LaBeouf has tears in his eyes in a few short snippets, implying that their discussion is getting into personal territory, much like the direction of the podcast. It is unclear whether the interview was recorded before or after LaBeouf’s ongoing trial or what he is promoting. But the fact that Bernthal and his team apparently had no reservations about including his Fury co-star in marketing visuals — or the optics of the beloved, career-booming actor associating himself with him — indicates growing apathy toward sexual and domestic abuse issues in Hollywood despite the initial impact of the #MeToo and Time’s upward movements just five years ago.
Much of the apathy was on display during the recent Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial, where a slew of celebrities and much of the internet publicly supported Depp (with some famous people going out of their way to ridicule Heard ) despite substantial evidence in Virginia. previous case and trial in the UK that he physically and sexually assaulted her. The verdict, that Heard defamed Depp in a Washington Post op-ed, has also become a rallying cry for right-wing media and pundits, and an apparent signal that the days of famous men being held accountable for their actions are seemingly over.
Given the overwhelming public support for Depp, it’s not hard to envision a similar fate for LaBeouf as he begins legal proceedings with his former girlfriend, all of whose claims he denies. As the Pirates of the Caribbean actor, LaBeouf has an oddly cult online fanbase, which includes film accounts on Twitter and Instagram that continue to support him. He’s also a beloved cultural figure in many millennials’ childhood as a Disney Channel star. Even Stevens and the children’s movie Holes. As the Depp-Heard lawsuit showed, this particular bond has proven to be the source of the most intense parasocial relationships people can have with celebrities.
“As the Depp-Heard lawsuit showed, this particular bond has proven to be the source of the most intense parasocial relationships people can have with celebrities.”
LeBeouf’s potential return seems likely mainly because he’s already been successful there. The movie 2019 honey boy, about his dysfunctional upbringing and relationship with his father, was an effective rebrand of a reputedly troublesome and bizarrely-behaved actor, whose misdeeds, at the time, included plagiarism and a racist rant against a black policeman, among other legal issues. Some ugly parts of his past being revealed, he was able to contextualize his behavior without necessarily fixing it or proving that he had changed. And for most of Hollywood, who showered him with praise for his performance and his writing, that was enough.
It’s unclear whether LaBeouf will be able to regain his status in Hollywood or how the results of the lawsuit will affect his reputation. But for now, he’s given us a glimpse of the level of power he can currently wield against women. In the case of his ongoing tiff with Wilde, his framing of his dismissal is not at all important in light of the substantial abuse allegations made against him by several women. Yet LaBeouf is able to convince some users online that he was not combative on set (despite quotes he submitted from Wilde implying otherwise) and publicly calls out a woman, who is already facing intense backlash from his current relationship, a liar.
Famous men have proven to be extremely calculated with their images and relentlessly hungry for fame despite the horrific crimes they have been accused of (currently watch Brad Pitt), which is why LaBoeuf’s re-emergence as a man of God and father Loving and her husband don’t really seem like a coincidence before her trial. With our culture’s easy forgiveness of men and obsession with fame, the months leading up to and during what will most likely be a high-profile court case look like a nightmare.