Shia LaBeouf Tweets Retirement Announcement

Shia LaBeouf

The last few weeks haven’t been particularly kind to actor Shia LaBeouf. After releasing a subversive short film, it was revealed the short was plagiarized from the work of Daniel Clowes. That lead to an apology, which was also plagiarized, and the actor’s defenses snowballed into weirdness including a skywritten apology and plenty of arguments about the creative process as a whole.

For his next act, LaBeouf — star of the first three Transformers films and part of the upcoming Lars Von Trier film Nymphomaniac – took to Twitter to say “In light of the recent attacks against my artistic integrity, I am retiring from all public life.”

Here are the tweets in question:

LaBeouf, who’s only 27 years old, definitely had a rough month but retiring seems like a bit of an overreaction, and blaming attacks against his artistic integrity misses the point of conversation about his short and apologies. He’s been the subject of undeniable public scrutiny but there’s really no one to blame but himself. A sincere apology or make-good could still potentially make the whole thing go away.

LaBeouf has been so insincere, however, his statements continually felt like part of an elaborate gag. Some onlookers have wondered if it’s a performance piece, with lots of other people involved, a la Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck in I’m Still Here. And maybe it still is. Maybe this retirement is just the latest act in a real-life version of The Aristocrats, with the public as the mark. Or maybe LaBeouf simply bit off more than he could chew, couldn’t take the pressure and is running away.

Regardless, if in some very unlikely way this really is the last time we hear from Shia LaBeouf, I personally won’t remember him from this ordeal. I’ll think of the kid in Project Greenlight, Holes, and the guy who bashed his role model in Indiana Jones 4. Even in his relatively young career, LaBeouf developed quite the reputation; to think he might give that up because of his own wrong-doing is sincerely disappointing.

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