The Shia LaBeoufaissance is over. After years of extolling the former Even Stevens star as "the king of fashion," a "normcore fashion God," and "legendary," many — myself included — have decided to borrow a page from a former Kendall Jenner stan account and unstan our once beloved. This began after singer FKA twigs filed a lawsuit against the star, her ex-boyfriend, accusing the actor of sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. "I'd like to be able to raise awareness on the tactics that abusers use to control you and take away your agency," twigs told the New York Times.
For many, this behavior is alarming but not shocking considering the actor's past, which includes a 2014 arrest for disorderly conduct, harassment and criminal trespass, a 2017 arrest for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and obstruction where he was said to have made "profanity-laced racial remarks" towards police officers, and a 2020 charge of misdemeanor battery and petty theft. But those past indiscretions often came with remorse.
"I have been struggling with addiction publicly for too long, and I am actively taking steps toward securing my sobriety and hope I can be forgiven for my mistakes," he wrote in a 2017 apology posted on his Twitter. He cited his addiction again in the wake of twigs's lawsuit, telling the Times in an email: "I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years. I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I'm ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say."
For Bobby Whigham, who I first spotlighted back in April, operating an Instagram account devoted to obsessing over LaBeouf's wardrobe now feels futile. The account lost thousands of followers after Whigham expressed his solidarity with twigs. Below, Whigham reflects on the rise and fall of Shia, and by proxy, the stan account he created — and will let die in the actor's name.
Let's get right to it. What was your immediate reaction reading the December 13th story in which it became known that FKA twigs had filed a lawsuit accusing LaBeouf of sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress?
It was an unreal feeling. I was on set for work and my Apple watch and phone started buzzing like crazy. People I hadn't heard from in years were texting me linking me to the news. I assumed it was immediately something with the President again.
Was there any sentence or paragraph that stood out particularly to you?
The way I read her words felt so cinematic and emotional. I think it was the moments in the car that sent me.
You posted a screenshot of the story on @shiasoutfits with the caption "We stand with @fkatwigs read more link in bio." That bio remains and you have not posted since. Tell me what your thinking was with relation to the account you run.
The account immediately lost 2K followers in the first few hours of the news. I got so many DMs and wow, the comments on the post are a must read. It's still so surprising how many people still think I am Shia/the account is Shia.
Had Shia's past indiscretions ever tempered your work on this account intended to celebrate his style?
I think that anytime he was being ridiculed or deemed bad it definitely didn't seem like it was out of line or harming anyone innocent. It always seems to be in lieu of some sort of protest or social stand on a matter.
What would you want to ask Shia if given the opportunity to interview him?
I won't lie, I always wanted to meet him and create in some way with him... But now? I don't know how I would approach that.
Will this account cease to exist?
My goal was always not to be a "news source." I always wanted to create a reference library of his looks, and I think that it's a great time capsule achieving this. I think the account will always exist, but will no longer be updated. It's really such a shame, but I just don't feel comfortable updating. I if I did post, I believe that alludes to the illusion that I am pro the things that he's done.
I'm harkened back to a 2017 tweet from a Kylie Jenner stan account in which they made the bold proclamation that they had "decided to unstan." Have you thought at all about making any sort of similar declaration?
I think the link in bio is saying that without being hateful or explicit.
What do you want Shia lovers, passive fans who think he's sexy and/or like the way he dresses, to take away from the most recent accusations?
Domestic violence is something I witnessed growing up, and hold very close to my heart. I think there is no excuse and I send solidarity to all victims and survivors. I hope in some ways that FKA has made more people comfortable to see light, come forward and escape any unhealthy relationships.
What's next for you?
I was also thinking it would be really fun to bring together all the different "fan accounts": @olsensanonymous, @jonahfits, some of the Yeezy kids, etc. I feel like there's some sort of story and what would happen if all of these like fan account admin's got together in one chat. For now, follow @britneysboots. But seriously I guess it was fun while it lasted. It will be a nice little gem on the corner of the internet that will be there for people to look back on.
Welcome to "Wear Me Out,"a column by pop culture fiend Evan Ross Katz that takes a look at the week in celebrity dressing. From award shows and movie premieres to grocery store runs, he'll keep you up to date on what your favorite celebs have recently worn to the biggest and most inconsequential events.