Actor Shia LaBeouf was applauded for his “He Will Not Divide Us” art project that he installed in New York City on the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but he has now shut down his operation.
The project consisted of a four-year live-stream in which people were encouraged to repeat the words “He will not divide us” into a camera in protest of Trump’s divisive rhetoric and proposed discriminatory policies.
Since its initial installation outside the Museum of the Moving Image, the live-stream has been a source of controversy as it has been trolled by white supremacists and other pro-Trump Americans who want to take away from LaBeouf’s attempt to promote unity.
"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," museum staff explained in a statement on Feb. 10, according to USA Today.
Earlier this week, LaBeouf moved the installation across the country from the Queens-based museum to Albuquerque’s El Rey Theater. However, he has since decided to scrap it altogether after gunshots were reported in the area near the theater.
“We have taken the stream down after shots were reported in the area," LaBeouf explained Thursday morning on Twitter. “The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount."
We have taken the stream down after shots were reported in the area. The safety of everybody participating in our project is paramount.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) February 23, 2017
It’s unclear at this time whether this shutdown is permanent, but it certainly seems like the right decision amid the threat of danger. This was supposed to be a work of art that brings people together, and it was turned into something ugly and hostile.
The death of this project is very telling of the troubling times we are currently in.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Anthony DelMundo