Being famous means never having to say you’re sorry — unless you’re Shia LaBeouf, that is.
Earlier in the week, the actor announced he’s performing in a Los Angeles-based art installation called “#IAmSorry” through Sunday.
The reveal was the culmination of months of odd behavior, the topic of this week’s celebrity gossip roundup.
The antics began back in December, when according to Deadline, Shia was hit with allegations he lifted from author Daniel Clowes’s work for his short film, “HowardCantour.com.” The former “Transformers” lead Tweeted an apology shortly after the issue was raised. A few days later, Shia began posting apologies on his Twitter page that were recycled from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, United Kingdom Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and even Lars Von Trier, Shia’s director on his upcoming flick “Nymphomaniac.”
In January, Shia took his mea culpas to the next level by hiring an airplane to fly over Los Angeles to skywrite “I am sorry Daniel Clowes” for a reported $25,000, per TMZ.
Then on January 10 came the biggest bombshell in the saga: Shia declared he was “retiring from public life.” “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE,” he reiterated on Twitter throughout the month. (Note the CAPS.)
At Sunday’s press conference in Berlin to promote “Nymphomaniac,” the 27-year-old answered one question from a journalist with a nonsensical quote from Eric Cantona and walked out. That evening at the movie’s premiere, Shia insisted on doing red carpet in a tux with a paper bag over his head. The phrase “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE” was scrawled across his mask in black marker.
Before anyone could figure out what Shia was really up to, the media received a release that the thespian had a new exhibition at the Stephen Cohen Gallery called… you guessed it, “#IAMSORRY.” A ha! There was a method to Shia’s madness after all.
So is the joke really on us?
OK, I’ll admit it. I did kind of chuckle when I first learned the news that Shia had pranked us, though this time, I’m afraid, it’s my turn to apologize. I get that Shia’s latest work is an opinion piece about originality or a lack thereof, but I’m not digging the fact he’s not creating something unique. I’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s defense of plagiarism, and I was on the sidelines when Joaquin Phoenix had his fake meltdown in order to promote his flick “I’m Still Here.”
Ripping off predecessors isn’t fresh, even if it’s done in a sarcastic tone. Of course, I also get that that is the point Shia is making about copycat culture.
For what it’s worth, I recognize the former Disney star can still draw a crowd. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that more than 200 people lined up to see Shia’s exhibit the day before. And, fellow actor Jerry O’Connell partnered with FunnyorDie.com and parodied Shia at a gallery next door with “#IAMSORRYTOO” similarly plastered on the window. Inside, Jerry donned a paper bag, albeit a different message “SUPER FAMOUS” on it.
The line for Jerry’s display, by the way, was allegedly much shorter than the one for Shia’s. Perhaps Shia should really take advantage of the situation and use his bathroom break to maybe explain to Jerry why he’s been so darn apologetic? I mean, we still don’t know and Shia isn’t talking. It’d certainly be convenient and a great way to end the show.
-- Genevieve Wong