Okay everybody, I’m calling this. We’ve reached the point in Shia LaBeouf‘s downward spiral where someone needs to step in before something tragic happens. I’m as guilty as everyone else of delighting in his bizarre antics, but there comes a moment in every struggling celebrity’s life where things cross the line from ‘weird’ to ‘dangerous’, and I think in Shia’s case, we crossed it a while ago.
He’s been demonstrating a tremendous disconnect with reality lately, flagrantly disregarding the potentially serious legal consequences of his repeated plagiarism on Twitter, alienated his castmates on set with erratic behavior, abused drugs, and engaged in multiple violent outbursts in public. The most recent, in which he head-butted a stranger in a London bar for allegedly making a comment about his girlfriend’s mother, was captured on video. (He’s the one in the white hat, and the head-butt happens about six seconds in.):
Doesn’t that worry anybody else? The guy he’s attacking isn’t instigating anything at all — he’s just sitting there quietly hoping that Shia gets out of his face. And he doesn’t, even though everyone around him keeps plaintively wailing, “Shia! SHIA!” I don’t know, it really feels like a cry for help to me. Anyone who allows themselves to get that riled up by a stranger is feeling a lot of things, and has the potential to really fly off the handle and make this into a scary situation. And with the way things are going, I worry that when and if he does, the people around him will be more likely to mock him and take video than to intercede or sit him down and demand he get some help. (After all, didn’t we just see that happen with fellow former child star Amanda Bynes?)
Being a celebrity is a really specific thing, and I think it can make it difficult to tell where you are in the world. A lot of people would rather have negative attention than no attention at all, and that’s a really dangerous road that Shia is already pretty far down. Not sure how to bring him back from it, but I think it’s something we should all try to be aware of.
(Photo: FayesVision / WENN.com)