Shia LaBeouf's Art Collaborators Acknowledge That Something Happened, So Let's Stop Victim Blaming

I'm really against victim blaming, even in the case of Shia LaBeouf's rape claim. I don't think it's anyone's place to accuse him of lying or to ask why he didn't stop the woman who allegedly raped him during his performance art piece. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way and people like Piers Morgan have accused the actor of "crying fake rape to promote himself." But now LaBeouf's collaborators on the project have spoken out on the rape allegations. While they didn't confirm his accusations, they did say something happened and that a woman was asked to leave.

It seems like that's enough to stop denying outright that anything happened to LaBeouf. In a recent interview with Dazed magazine, the actor opened up about his performance piece #IAMSORRY, which allowed visitors to sit in a room with LaBeouf while he wore a paper bag over his face and stayed silent.

One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me. There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with disheveled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well.
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News outlets like Entertainment Weekly originally reported that as part of LaBeouf's project guests could do whatever they wanted with him. One journalist removed the bag from his head while others simply talked to him. But now LaBeouf's collaborators Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner are setting the record straight. Both posted the same series of tweets letting everyone know that guests were not permitted to do whatever they wanted to LaBeouf.

They also clarified some things about the woman who allegedly raped LaBeouf. While they didn't go into detail about the assault, they did insinuate that something unsavory went down.

This isn't exactly proof that LaBeouf was whipped and raped during his art project. But it does make it seem more likely since he now has people backing up his claims that a woman overstepped her boundaries and had to be asked to leave.

In any case, I think LaBeouf deserves the benefit of the doubt with his rape claims. No victim should be made to feel untrustworthy, even if they have a history of erratic behavior. His collaborators speaking up on his behalf gives more credence to his story, but ultimately we should believe LaBeouf because we should believe all victims unless they are proven wrong — regardless of gender or likeability.

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