Culture

Shia LaBeouf Blames 'White Privilege,' PTSD for Antics Following July Arrest

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Actor Shia LaBeouf has finally spoken out about his arrest in Georgia in July. During that arrest, police body cam footage recorded the former Disney star screaming some of the vilest, most racist stuff imaginable.

Recently, the actor opened up about what happened this past summer.

“What went on in Georgia was mortifying,” the actor told Esquire recently during his first sit-down interview since the incident happened. “White privilege and desperation and disaster…. It came from a place of self-centered delusion. It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested.”

LaBeouf claims court-ordered rehab did wonders for him personally, especially finding out that he suffered PTSD stemming from the rape of his mother, which the actor blames for his temper.

I get that and I certainly hope LaBeouf’s transformation is genuine. However, that doesn’t lead to forgiveness for his actions in Georgia.

When I covered his arrest back in July, I asked, “Is this what LaBeouf really thinks, or is this what he believes people down here in Georgia think?”

I can’t help but think, especially with this “white privilege” gambit, that this is what he figures people in Georgia think, which is its own kind of bigotry. Yes, he’s white and they were white, but so what? He still acted like the cops were supposed to be just as racist as he was acting. It was pathetic.

If LaBeouf is serious, if he really wants to put that chapter of his life behind him, then perhaps a legitimate place to go with this is to recognize that not everyone who wears the uniform of a police officer—or all Southerners, for that matter—is a vile, disgusting racist. Sit down with us, talk to us, and not just about politics, but anything. Hell, I’ve enjoyed a number of LaBeouf’s movies. I’d be willing to talk about them, the industry in general, and anything else. A lot of people would. All so he could understand the people he managed to demonize with his antics on that night.

I suspect he’s never even thought that his words carried more than the racial insensitivity easily recognized. They also carried a regional bigotry that he should also want to address.

That is, if he’s serious.