After just 4 weeks of its planned 4-year installation, Shia LaBeouf’s anti -Trump art project has been prematurely shut down due to violence. Ironically the He Will Not Divide Us (HWNDU) project has been accused of creating more division.
On January 20th, 2017 following Donald Trump’s inauguration as the president, Hollywood actor LaBeouf along with several other artists and actors installed the latest in his art projects outside the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
The ‘art’ “invited the public to deliver the words ‘He will not divide us’” into the camera, “repeating the phrase as many times, and for as long as they wish,” the museum said. This exhibition originally attracted supporters of his anti-Trump message to chant the ‘he will not divide us mantra’ was soon inundated with agitators with the intent of irritating LaBeoff. Almost immediately infamous trolling site 4CHAN got wind of Shia’s project, along with other anti-liberal message boards, subreddits and 8chan. Shia took the bait lashing out for what would not be the last time at a man who shouted ‘Pepe 2020,’ which caused LaBeouf to try and punch him, then chase him.
The agitators grew in number and frequency, and Shia was arrested on Jan 25th for allegedly attacking several people he claims were all neo-nazis as well as one of his supporters.
Throughout the 4 weeks since its inception, the anti-Trump art project has been host to several viral conservative and pro-Trump broadcasts.
Conservative and pro-Trump radio and podcast host Steven Crowder aired one of his popular shows on the stream.
EDIT: As of 11th February LaBeouf has taken down Crowder’s video based on copyright claims.
Another viral video was a young man speaking about the economic reasons he voted for Trump and his criticisms and rejection of liberal elitism and identity politics
Several memes also emerged as a result of his arrest.
Within a week of Shia’s arrest, barricades were erected outside the project and a basic rudimentary vetting was required to enter. This did not stop the trolling and aggression from both sides of the political spectrum. A particular anti-Trump HWNDU regular known online as stolen valor displayed aggression and violence throughout the remaining duration
Towards the final fated weeks of the project organized hijacks took on an even larger scale
The culmination of this was several shirtless alleged white nationalists or “awakened Europeans‘ as they called themselves, dancing topless on live stream while drinking milk.
This was met with hysteria from the left, with one particular media outlet claiming that ‘milk was the new, creamy symbol of white racial purity‘ effectively becoming a symbol of neo-nazism, there is little evidence for this assertion.
The museum closed the exhibition on 10th February claiming it has become a ‘flash point for violence’.
“Over the course of the installation, there have been dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests, such that police felt compelled to be stationed outside the installation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We are proud to have launched this engaging and thought-provoking digital art installation which was experienced by millions of online viewers worldwide…
Until public safety concerns overrode the intent of the installation, HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US generated an important conversation allowing interaction among people from many backgrounds and with different viewpoints
However, ending our engagement with the installation is the most prudent path forward to restore public safety to the Museum, its visitors, staff and the community.”
Shia has tweeted his response.