Shia LaBeouf has consistently shown Hollywood that he is one of the greatest film actors of his generation. The fact that LaBeouf hasn’t received an Oscar nod for his work in “Honey Boy”, a character he wrote based on his father is one of the greatest travesties of modern time. LaBeouf has put in the work and commitment illustrating that he is on par with actors such as Daniel Day-Lewis and Christian Bale. His role in the David Ayer film The Tax Collector could change that.
I saw the trailer for The Tax Collector last week. And yesterday I saw the rage on Twitter accusing LaBeouf of using ‘brownface’. The film is about two ‘tax collectors’ played by Shia and Bobby Soto. They work for a dangerous crime lord named Wizard. Many are outrage with Shia LaBeouf’s alleged use of ‘brownface’, which is similar to ‘blackface’ in portraying 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 also been accused of using a “cholo” accent. However the Director of the film has clarified that LaBeouf is playing a Jewish character who grew up in the hood.
Ayer’s response solidifies that the accusations are absolutely ridiculous in the “over sensitive” politically correct culture that we live in. LaBeouf isn’t “brownfacing” at all intthe film and is actually portraying a character which has similarities to his own background. While some have mistaken LaBeouf for the Disney character he portrayed in Even Stevens, LaBeouf actually had a hard-luck upbringing in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles-the once crime ridden neighborhood where actor Leonardo DiCaprio also grew up. Like DiCaprio, he was a white child who grew up in a mostly Latino area. “It sort of made me a target,” he recalls. “But I never felt poor, because I didn’t know anything else” he recounted in a 2009 interview with Parade.
In an interview with Slash Film, Ayer, called LaBeouf “one of the best actors I’ve worked with,” and revealed that the actor actually tattooed his chest for the role. LaBeouf clearly is committed to his role in this film and you can see the dedication in his eyes in the trailer. The film comes out on August 7th and George Lopez and Noel Gugliemi are also in it. Check out the trailer and judging by that I wouldn’t be surprised if LaBeouf is in the 2021 Oscar conversation!!