Shia LaBeouf sat in an art gallery on Beverly Boulevard for the duration of the week. Admission was free. It was called #IAMSORRY.
Inside the gallery sat Shia. You could sit down at the table with him and say anything you’d like. He didn’t respond. The table apparently had random items on it such as a ukulele, a bottle of Jack Daniels, and a bowl of tweets. You were free to read the tweets aloud to Shia.
Sometimes, Shia was even wearing a paper bag over his head while he cried. You could shake his hand. But again, he did not speak. All of this happened in the aftermath of his plagiarism scandals, most notably of which was his almost word for word and shot by shot copy of a Dan Clowes’ comic. He turned it into a short film and people realized the similarities… Now for the past month he has been tweeting I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE every single day on his Twitter feed. That is, until the opening of this new performance. The other day he tweeted #IAMSORRY and so the strange performance began.
I’m not sure what it was. I’m not sure if the scenario was a genuine attempt to apologize. I’m assuming that the scandals are eating him up inside, whether he realizes it or not. So I want to think of it as genuine, even if it is an apology cloaked in art. If that’s not the case, I have even speculated that the #IAMSORRY stunt and the plagiarism scandal with Clowes were maybe designed and orchestrated by Shia and others. They say, no press is bad press, right?
The hesitation I have to say that this #IAMSORRY stunt began even before the plagiarism incident is that Dan Clowes is already an established and successful artist and screenwriter. I don’t see him needing this sort of attention. I also don’t see any connection between him and Shia up until Shia copied his work. If events played out literally as we are assuming they did – Shia copied his work and turned it into a short film without giving him credit, Shia panicked and started backtracking, and now is apologizing in every way he knows how – then the point of this article is furthered even more. Hollywood is a bizarre place at times.
In looking at the former Disney Channel star’s childhood, this sort of erratic and off the wall behavior seems normal. Let me also mention that I loved Even Stevens. Now, back to the story.
The information I’ve gathered about Shia comes from the Internet and various interviews. I’ve never spoken to the man or seen a biography about him. But, his family life, like many others’, was chaotic. His parents were eccentric. They divorced when he was young and his father was, according to an interview Shia gave, in and out of rehab for heroin addiction. On top of this, his father was a Vietnam veteran who suffered from flashbacks and subjected Shia to verbal and mental abuse. None of this sounds ideal.
Somehow, the kid got out of the madness and into the limelight. Good for him. He was also fortunate to have other family members look out for him when his parents could not.
What does any of this mean? I believe we are either seeing incredible, yet bizarre, artwork happening right before our eyes or simply the strange reactions of a guy trying to deal with his past and come into his own. Maybe he is going for something entirely new in terms of his lifestyle and his profession. We will have to wait and see.
I would love to hear Dr. Drew’s take on this. I’m sure he and Adam Carolla would drop the hammer of common sense that this situation needs on all of us if they were asked about it.
Part of me wants to think that Hollywood is simply trolling us as hard as they can, but we will probably never know.
Oh, and did you see? Comedian and actor Jerry O’Connell setup a booth entitled, #IAMSORRYTOO, as a spoof to Shia’s right next-door. His, unfortunately was only a one day event for FunnyOrDie.com, but it brought a nice bit of relief to the bizarre questions about what exactly is going on in Hollywood.