Shia LaBeouf Embroiled in ‘Pedophilia’ Controversy Over Sia Video ‘Elastic Heart’

Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler performing in the controversial music video for Sia's "Elastic Heart."

The bad times keep raging for Shia LaBeouf. Still reeling from the media storm that surrounded his claim that he had been raped while performing a durational art piece, the actor-cum-artist is once again at the center of a controversy, this time for appearing in a video clip with a 12 year-old.

The accusations started flying at the end of last week, shortly after the release of Sia’s video for her single Elastic Heart, which features an almost-naked LaBeouf (wearing nude briefs) trapped in a large cage with pre-teen dancer Maddie Ziegler, who is clad in a nude leotard.

LaBeouf and Ziegler dance, eye, and chase each other, mocking fighting movements during which they sometimes touch each other. But, although there is not a hint of sexual innuendo in the five minutes that the clip lasts, media pundits were quick to deem the video as promoting pedophilia, with one Twitter user writing about LaBeouf: “The #ElasticHeart video would be magical if her dancing partner wasn’t 30 years old, looked like a child predator, and was a good dancer.”

The Australian pop singer Sia felt forced to apologize promptly, tweeting: “I apologize to those who feel triggered by #ElasticHeart My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody.” But other voices have demanded caution when making such grave accusations, with Barbara Ellen from the Guardian wondering: “Can’t a grown man and a young girl produce art with edge and beauty of any kind without a squalid sexual subtext instantly being read into it?”

Meanwhile, LaBeouf has remained mum about the whole issue, perhaps choosing to concentrate his efforts on forthcoming film and art projects.

Watch the video for Sia’s Elastic Heart below, and see for yourself:

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