Piers Morgan claims Shia LaBeouf “demeans real rape victims”

Piers Morgan proves himself incapable of keeping his foot out of his mouth:

Piers Morgan has condemned actor Shia LaBeouf’s “outrageous ‘rape’ claim”, writing that it “demeans real rape victims” and was “ridiculous” on Twitter.

The former British newspaper editor turned US commentator posted the remarks on the social media site last night, adding in a stream of tweets that LaBoeuf had “invented a supposed ‘rape’ for cheap PR” and that he was “lying”.

“Shia LaBeouf’s claim to have been ‘raped’ is truly pathetic & demeans real rape victims. Grow up, you silly little man.”

LaBeouf claimed during an interview with Dazed that he was raped during a performance art piece:

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 dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well. On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event – we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it travelled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.

The accusation has sparked varied responses from support to ridicule. However, Piers Morgan is one of the few well-known people to chime in and make such a hostile, dismissive remark.

This prompted Jezebel writer Lindy West (yes, the same one who could barely contain her misandry) to get into a Twitter spat with Morgan over her article in which she claims to support LaBeouf. (For the record, I highly doubt West believes LaBeouf. I think that West, like other feminists who commented on the accusation, are simply exploiting it to take control of the narrative. They do not care about male victims or female perpetrators.)

Morgan gave a fuller explanation:

So when I heard LaBeouf’s claim that he’d been raped by a woman, my first instinct – as with all rape allegations – was to treat it with seriousness and respect.

Why, after all, would anyone of his global success and fame invent the fact that he’d been raped?

Then I read his account of the alleged incident. The details are important. […] So let’s be very clear here: Shia LaBeouf wants us to believe he just sat in silence, with a paper bag over his head, doing absolutely nothing to resist as he was supposedly brutally whipped and ‘raped’?

Then he wants us to believe that he allowed his ‘rapist’ to calmly walk off into the LA sunshine?

Oh, and he also wants us to believe that he continued to sit there in total silence, presumably with the paper bag still over his head, as his own girlfriend came in and asked him what the hell had just happened?

And he did all this because he didn’t want to break his ‘performance art’ experiment?

What a load of absolute baloney, and what a repulsive insult to every single person who has ever been genuinely raped.

Shia LaBeouf is one of the toughest actors in Hollywood. He recently cut his own face with a knife during filming of Fury to make his scars look more realistic.

If he’d wanted to stop this complete stranger supposedly ‘raping’ him, all he had to do was physically stop her himself or shout for help.

But he didn’t. He just let it all happen.

I agree that what LaBeouf describes sounds unbelievable. Most rapes sound unbelievable. They defy what we think people are capable of and how people respond to abuse. Morgan’s response ignores that LaBeouf did not have to lie for this scenario to be true. LaBeouf could have been so shocked by what happened that he did not react.

Morgan complained about two people who were with LaBeouf and back his story:

Yesterday, the two artists who collaborated with him on this experiment, Nastja Sade Ronkko and Luke Turner, both tweeted the same clarification:

‘Nowhere did we state that people could do whatever they wanted to Shia during #IAMSORRY. As soon as we were aware of the incident starting to occur, we put a stop to it and ensured that the woman left.’

I immediately challenged Turner, a fellow Brit, to explain why if this was the case, they had just let the alleged ‘rapist’ walk away.

‘It wasn’t clear at the time precisely what happened,’ he replied, ‘and the 1st priority was to ensure everybody’s safety in the gallery. She ran out, rather than simply walking away.’

Hmmm. She ‘ran out’? That’s not what Mr LaBeouf said. He said she ‘walked out’, remember?

This type of thing works well in a courtroom, but not so much in the public sphere. If LaBeouf got that one detail wrong, it does not change the rest of his story.

Regardless, if LaBeouf had indeed been raped, surely the automatic thing you would do if you were running this event in a public art gallery staffed by security guards, is get one of them to apprehend the ‘rapist’ and call the police?

But no, none of them did anything. A woman who had supposedly just committed a dreadful sex crime was allowed to just leave the scene.

I agree that it is odd that no authority was notified. This is a famous actor. While it is possible the police and security would not have taken the claim seriously, they might have acted if informed. Yet that does not mean no rape occurred. Many victims, myself included, do not report their abusers.

But Morgan is not done. After essentially calling LaBeouf a liar and a wimp, he ends with:

Even if you believe this woman did try and have some form of sexual contact with LaBeouf, that’s not rape.

Rape occurs when someone does not give consent to a sexual act.

Try telling a judge you weren’t able to signify consent or not because you were ‘acting’, and see how far you get.

Whether LaBeouf was able to give consent is irrelevant. He stated that he did not tell the woman she could have any sexual contact with him. Without consent, any sexual contact is criminal. It does not matter why LaBeouf did not give consent. All that matters is that the woman did not have his permission to engage in sexual activity with him.

Any Californian lawyer will confirm that whatever went on in that room does not meet the state’s legal definition of rape.

Whether the act meets the legal definition of rape is another question. LaBeouf implies the woman had sex with him. Under California law that could count as rape:

(C) Was not aware, knowing, perceiving, or cognizant of the essential characteristics of the act due to the perpetrator’s fraud in fact.

That is a bit of a stretch, but that likely would be the part of the law used to justify the charge. However, the woman could easily face charges under California’s sexual battery law.

It is interesting. IIt took me a few seconds to find California’s penal code and a few minutes to read the statutes to see which ones could apply in this case. I am not a media personality. I am certainly not a journalist. Yet it appears I took the time to engage in basic journalistic curiosity that the so-called journalist Morgan did not.

LaBeouf is a very good actor.

But when a man like him cries ‘rape’ in an interview over an incident like this, I cry ‘fake’.

Shia LaBeouf has reduced the most serious of sex crimes to a shameless PR opportunity. A chance to garner headlines, to promote himself as a ‘victim’.

Perhaps. However, if that were the case, it would have been more effective had he done it immediately following his performance, not months later when no one remembered his stunt.

It’s an appalling abuse of his fame and influence.

Particularly so in the wake of the Bill Cosby scandal, where more than 20 women have claimed the Hollywood legend used his power and fame to drug and rape them.

Rape is not a game. It’s not a flippant word for an actor to toss around as he markets his oddball ‘art’.

I agree. Yet it does not appear LaBeouf made the statement for his art. He was asked about the performance piece, gave an answer, and appears to continue to answer questions without much concern. It was the media who picked up the story and ran with it.

This has nothing to do with the accusations against Cosby, unless Morgan wants to claim that women are incapable of raping men.

If LaBeouf genuinely thinks he was raped then the correct course of action is for him to now report it to the police and have them investigate as a matter of urgency.

After all, he has now very publicly branded a woman, who I would think can now be reasonably easily identified, as a rapist.

This woman has not been identified. We do not know her name, her appearance, or anything else about her. So if the claim is that this woman is being publicly tarnished, Morgan should try again.

If he doesn’t, then we can all draw our own conclusions as to the motivation for his behaviour.

It is LaBeouf’s choice whether to pursue charges. If he does not want to have the woman arrested, that is his business. Yes, there is the potential she could rape someone else. However, it is still his choice to begin an investigation or not. His choice tells us nothing about his motivations, particularly given that he did not make public announcement about the assault but mentioned it off-hand during an interview.

And he might like to consider saying the following words: #IAMSORRYAGAIN.

You first, Morgan.

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3 thoughts on “Piers Morgan claims Shia LaBeouf “demeans real rape victims”

  1. Anyone who agrees with Piers Morgan is an idiot. We’ve known this in the U.K. for years, since he faked some pictures of British soldiers torturing Iraqis (whether or not they actually did is not the point, more that Morgan made it up). He got in trouble for it, and was hounded out of his position in the press. Moreover, he’s despised by Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear for making up stories about him and his wife (Clarkson lamped him one in the jaw), he’s despised by most people over here in the UK. Unless he’s taken that seriously in the U.S. and is not nationally loathed, I’d say you have nothing to worry about.

    But this article from a self-described ‘vociferous feminist windbag’ is rather interesting:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/shia-labeoufs-rape-claim-would-we-say-to-a-woman-oh-sure-why-didnt-you-fight-her-off-9896678.html

    Good sign for the future?

  2. As I have said on Twitter, I do not like feminists feigning concern for male victims for click bait. Lindy West pulled the same nonsense on the Guardian. Feminists do not get to attack men in one breath and then exploit our victimization to push their agenda in the next. Use something else to promote feminism, not male victimization.

  3. I’m not a twitter user so I wouldn’t know. But I agree, I wasn’t impressed with West myself. I am not promoting feminism either. I was more surmising that maybe some people in the feminist movement might be about to wake up and smell the coffee.

    If they did, and discovered male abuse victims/survivors and (probably more importantly) female abusers exist, they can no longer peddle their ‘all-men-are-potential-rapists-lets-teach-them-not-to-rape’ garbage, because the gendered paradigm of sexual abuse suddenly lies in ruins. It’d be a short sharp shock for them, but it’d be for the good of us all. Though doubtless the majority seem to cling onto the gendered approach like lampreys if mumsnet is anything to go by.

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