WATCH: ‘Alt-Right’ Disrupts Seemingly Clueless Shia LaBeouf’s Live Broadcast by the Forward

WATCH: ‘Alt-Right’ Disrupts Seemingly Clueless Shia LaBeouf’s Live Broadcast

Image by YouTube

During a live-streamed protest performance organized by actor Shia LaBeouf members of the “alt-right” bombarded the camera, praising Donald Trump and delivering coded messages to fellow members of their white nationalist movement.

LaBeouf, who was born to a Jewish mother and a Christian father, calls his participatory performance piece, “He will not divide us,” a mantra which he and others chant repeatedly on screen and in reference to Trump’s polarizing rhetoric. The performance is housed at a museum in Queens, New York.

But, over the course of three days, 4chan users took advantage of the platform to spread their own, somewhat cryptic, political messages — using coded “alt-right” references and insider language which would be meaningless to an outsider.

4chan is one of a handful of online platforms where the somewhat amorphous “alt-right” movement developed.

For example, a young duo walked up to the camera and held a piece of paper, on which it was written: “#Pepe”

Pepe the Frog is a cartoon icon of the “alt-right” and the Anti-Defamation League has added his likeness to its database of hate symbols.

Another man, his face concealed, spelled out the word “KEK” in red tape on a wall nearby the camera.

“Kek” is another frog figure associated with the “alt-right,” seen as something of an ancient Egyptian relation to Pepe who has divine powers.

Other young men played music on stereos, choosing a 1986 disco song, “Shadilay,” sung by the Italian band named P.E.P.E. Remarkably, the original single design for “Shadilay” features an illustration of a green frog holding a magic wand. This coincidence has made the song into an unofficial theme song for Pepe.

LaBeouf and others congregated at the site sometimes seem unaware of the “alt-right” messages, as they are so obscure.

But one man also approached the camera and recited the opening words of a white supremacist slogan known as “Fourteen words.” In this case, LaBeouf interceded and shouted the man off camera. But not before the disrupter was able to slip in another frog-reference to the camera, shouting “Praise Kek!”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at


Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum

Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.

WATCH: ‘Alt-Right’ Disrupts Seemingly Clueless Shia LaBeouf’s Live Broadcast

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WATCH: ‘Alt-Right’ Disrupts Seemingly Clueless Shia LaBeouf’s Live Broadcast

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