It’s a technique that every bullied kid has to try at some point: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Self-deprecation makes a person more likable. When Shia LaBeouf was asked to participate in the above video that paints him as a raving homicidal lunatic, it seems he saw an opportunity to make fun himself and be more human.
Members of the Argus Quartet, the West L.A. Children’s Choir, the Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A., and several interpretive dancers have all come together to tell the story of being stalked by LaBeouf, fighting him back, and eventually decapitating him. After his decapitation, the camera pans to the real Shia, sitting in the audience violently clapping, Citizen Kane-style.
Does it make him more likable? No. Because he’s not being bullied, he insists upon putting himself at the center. He effectively says, “Look at me I’m doing something weird.” But hey, if he’s the musical theater world’s problem now, I’m all for it. Keep him out of the art world.
After doing riffs on Marina Abramovic, Daniel Clowes, and Man Bites Dog, now LaBeouf wants to mess with Orson Welles. I’ll let the world’s go-to expert on appropriation and professor of plagiarism Kenneth Goldsmith have the last word:
In my class… they must plagiarize well and convincingly, and I don’t think [LaBeouf] has done that so far. Quite frankly, that’s why people have been so angry with him. Had he been a better plagiarizer, a smarter plagiarizer, people actually would have been admiring of his action rather than scornful.