Shia Labeouf has come under fire after collecting a screenwriting award intended for up-and-coming talent.
The 33-year-old actor infuriated some undiscovered writers after he won the Sun Valley Film Festival’s High Scribe award late last month (April 2020), according to The Wrap.
While the accolade is apparently intended to supporting emerging screenwriters, the win from an actor who has starred in multiple blockbusters and previously wrote the critically acclaimed Honey Boy angered some of his fellow competitors.
“Any ‘screenwriting competition’ that awards its top prize to an established Hollywood screenwriter doesn’t deserve your $50,” tweeted screenwriter Kyle Andrews.
“Not to take anything from the guy at all, he’s a great artist, but for a company to take money from hardworking, undiscovered screenwriters looking to break in and give their top prize to SHIA FREAKING LEBOUF is a level of ballsy I can’t begin to comprehend.”
He added: “Honestly I’m kinda livid about this. I know how these companies operate, this was a choice. They’re thirsty for recognition because they can’t get it on their own, and I hope writers can see it.”
Another screenwriter revealed he also entered the competition while joking about the insignificance of the prize to LeBeouf.
“I lost a screenwriting competition to Shia LaBeouf. I hope he puts that $1000 and 1-on-1 consultation with a producer to good use,” they wrote.
After winning the High Scribe award, the Transformers actor will be treated to “one-on-one meetings with some of the industry’s finest to discuss their work” as well as “mentoring from an experienced professional”.
Explaining why he entered the contest, a representative for the star said: “Shia entered the competition as an emerging writer.
“He is thrilled to be a part of the community and thrives off of any opportunity to gain insight, constructive criticism and knowledge from those with more experience… and that’s in regards to any art form,” they added, reported Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.