Shia LaBeouf Under Fire For Brownfacing In New Movie

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf may have risen to fame in Disney Channel’s Even Stevens before becoming one of the most promising actors of his generation thanks to a string of hits like HolesI, RobotEagle EyeDisturbia, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the first three Transformers movies, but it wasn’t long before he took a turn down a troubled path that saw him quickly fall out of favor with Hollywood, leading to him walking away from blockbuster filmmaking and focusing more on indies.

There’s no denying that LaBeouf’s behavior is often more than a little eccentric, but with the right material he can still be an incredibly magnetic and enjoyable screen presence. He’s well known for fully throwing himself into his characters and his next role looks to be no different in that regard, with the actor already turning heads for his appearance in David Ayer’s The Tax Collector, for which he got a real life tattoo that covers his entire chest.

But where Shia LaBeouf goes, controversy usually follows and already, there are detractors now accusing him of ‘brownfacing.’ For those unfamiliar, the term is “a variant of blackface involving ethnic impersonation of people with brown skin including Latin people, South Asians, Middle-Easterners and North Africans.” And with The Tax Collector, the Transformers star is seemingly appropriating a Latino personality, even coming under fire for his “cholo” (a derogatory word used to describe someone of Mexican descent) accent.

Ayer has already responded to some of the criticism and below, you can see what he’s had to say so far:

All fair points by Ayer, but no doubt, The Tax Collector will continue to inspire controversy and discussion in the lead up to its release on August 7th. If nothing else, though, it’ll certainly offer up another interesting, committed performance from Shia LaBeouf.