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Shia LaBeouf’s Anti-Trump Installation Shut Down After Arrests, Threats of Violence

Shia LaBeouf‘s livestream protest against President Donald Trump has been shut down over concerns about public safety, the Museum of the Moving Image confirmed Friday, February 10.

According to a statement on the museum’s website, the performance-art project “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US” — which was originally intended to last the duration of Trump’s term in office — was forced to close early because it “created a serious and ongoing public safety hazard” for visitors, staff and local residents in Queens, New York City.

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“The installation had become a flashpoint for violence and was disrupted from its original intent,” the statement read. The museum further noted that there had been “dozens of threats of violence and numerous arrests,” and that the NYPD had been forced to set up a 24-hour patrol.

US actor Shia LaBeouf(L)is seen during his He Will Not Divide Us livestream outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, in the Queens borough of New York January 24, 2017 as a protest against President Donald Trump.
Shia LaBeouf during his ‘He Will Not Divide Us’ livestream outside the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, on Jan. 24, 2017, as a protest against President Donald Trump. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Image

The situation “deteriorated markedly after one of the artists was arrested on the site of the installation and ultimately necessitated this action,” the museum added, alluding to a January 26 altercation that resulted in LaBeouf being charged with misdemeanor assault.

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LaBeouf, 30, first launched the art project on Friday, January 20, the day of Trump’s inauguration. The idea was to set up a 24/7 livestream where members of the public could stand in front of a camera and say the mantra, “He will not divide us.” Jaden Smith was one of the first to participate.

“We are proud to have launched this engaging and thought-provoking digital art installation which was experienced by millions of online viewers worldwide,” the museum said in their statement on Friday, adding that the project “generated an important conversation.”

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LaBeouf, for his part, addressed the news of the exhibit’s closure in a tweet, sharing a photo of a black screen with the words, “The museum has abandoned us.”

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