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Shia LaBeouf Accused Of ‘Brownface’ In Latest Movie Role. Director Responds.
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 08: Shia LaBeouf attends the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 08, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The Twitter mob has targetted actor Shia LaBeouf for playing a gangster in the upcoming David Ayer-directed crime drama “The Tax Collector,” alleging he will be performing in “brownface.” Just one problem: the character LaBeouf will be playing is a whiteboy, not a Latino.

According to Fox News, LaBeouf will be making an interesting career turn as a crime boss who swindles “taxes” from Los Angeles street gangs. Given that LaBeouf is a Jewish guy acting in a movie with predominantly black and Latino actors, people on Twitter believed the role was some kind of “brownface” after the trailer dropped online. Take a look:

The Twitter outrage mob was both fast and furious in its condemnation of LaBeouf’s undeniably electric performance.

“Oh hey, another movie w/ Latinos and Blacks in glorified gang culture on steroids that reinforces stereotypes & fears for white folks & promotes the cop mentality that ‘it’s a battlefield out there.’ Sigh…..Hollywood, come on. We don’t need this right now,” tweeted one user.

“It’s so sad we don’t have enough Chicano actors who were in the gang life for roles like this. Thank God for that little white boy stepping in and saving the day,” tweeted another user.

“Shia Labouf in a new movie and I’m really hoping he’s not playing brownface,” tweeted another.

Director David Ayer (“End of Watch”) immediately responded to the backlash by clarifying that Shia LaBeouf will not be playing a Latino gangster in “The Tax Collector” but rather a white gangster who grew up in the hood. Ayer said the role was evocative of his own life experience as a white man who grew up in the hood.

“Really important answer – Shia is playing a whiteboy who grew up in the hood. This is a Jewish dude playing a white character. Also the only white dude in the movie,” Ayer tweeted.

“I grew up hood and I’m a whiteboy. Chicano culture is inclusive – I’ve seen whiteys, Asians, Blacks, Filipinos all putting in work for the hood. It’s part of street culture,” he added.

Ayer praised the actor for his extensive research into the role, going the extra mile to get the culture right. When one social justice warrior accused Ayer of making another cop movie, the director shot back, “It ain’t a cop movie. And Shia is playing something very specific. Not brown face.”

LaBeouf apparently dedicated himself so strongly to his role in “The Tax Collector” that he even tattooed his whole chest.

“He’s one of the best actors I’ve worked with, and he’s the most committed to body and soul,” David Ayer told Slash Film. “He had a tooth pulled on ‘Fury,’ and then on ‘Tax Collector,’ he got his whole chest tattooed. So, he kind of goes all in, and I’ve never known anyone that committed.”

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