Shia LaBeouf is playing a ‘white boy’ who grew up ‘in the hood’ in his new crime thriller The Tax Collector. But that hasn’t stopped quite a few detractors from accusing the movie of ‘Brownfacing’. Director David Ayer has utilized social media to answer these accusations. Some of those opposing the movie aren’t in agreement with Ayer’s statements.
The trailer for The Tax Collector arrived last week. And it has received its fare share of controversy since. The story follows two ‘tax collectors’ played by Shia and Bobby Soto. They are employed underneath a menacing crime lord named Wizard. Many are upset with Shia LaBeouf’s alleged use of ‘brownface’, which is the same as ‘blackface’ in depicting someone who is not the race of the performer. In this case, Shia LaBeouf appears to many to be appropriating a Latino personality. And he has come under fire for using a “cholo” accent.
Cholo is a term used to describe a man or boy of Mexican descent. It is often seen as a derogatory word, with people of mixed-blood heritage getting labeled as such. It is often associated with young men in street gangs. The term ‘brownfacing’ began to trend when images of Shia LaBeouf appeared, showing him as his character ‘Creeper’.
Director David Ayer has spent quite a bit of time defending his work on Suicide Squad, so he’s used to consumer feedback and backlash. He’s had to answer for Harley Quinn’s look in that film on a number of occasions. Now he is having to explain ‘Creeper’, a character that hasn’t been fully revealed to the public, only glimpsed at in The Tax Collector trailer.
Many think that The Tax Collector is another cop movie from David Ayer, a former member of the military and once embedded with the police force before he became a filmmaker. He has clarified that this is not a cop movie at all.
Many are wanting Shia LaBeouf to answer for his character. But he has not commented on the situation at this time. David Ayer confirms that Shia is the only white actor in the movie, which has a very diverse cast. The official synopsis for the movie: Two enforcers for a crime lord face an uncertain future when an old rival reappears. David Ayer is perhaps best known for the Oscar-winning movie Training Day. He mad his directorial debut 2005 with Harsh Times, which also looks at Los Angeles street life. Aside from the provided tweets from David Ayrer, additional reporting first appeared on Buzzfeed.