Shia LaBeouf accused of ‘brownface’ in latest movie, prompting denial from director

The criticism of a forthcoming movie starring Shia LeBeouf, where the actor wears 'brownface' has prompted its director to defend his decision.

In the film The Tax Collector, LeBoeuf plays a crime boss in Los Angeles who collects taxes from other gangs. That doesn't sound too problematic until you learn that LeBeouf is playing a Hispanic gangster in the movie and appears to be wearing 'brownface' to hide the fact that he is White. LeBeouf is reportedly the only white actor in the main cast of the movie.

The trailer was released earlier this month and many people soon noticed that LeBeouf was wearing 'brownface' and took to Twitter to ask why an actor with Hispanic or Latino background wasn't cast in the role.

Noticing the criticism, David Ayer, the director of the movie, who has also made films such as Suicide Squad and End of Watch, responded to the accusations in a series of tweets. Firstly, the 52-year-old declared that LeBeouf's character was not supposed to be of Hispanic descent but a white man who had grown up in those neighbourhoods.

Ayer added that he grew up in those types of environments and that Chicano culture (People of Mexican descent who were born in the US) is not inclusive.

He also added that LeBeouf, who is known for going deep into his characters and doing extensive research 'studied a real homie' and was playing something very specific and 'not brown face.'

During an interview with Slash Film, Ayer revealed that his commitment to the role extended to him actually having his entire chest tattooed to make him look more authentic.

He’s one of the best actors I’ve worked with, and he’s the most committed to body and soul. 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.

The Tax Collector is set for a theatrical released in the United States on 7 August.

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