Cillian Murphy and the creators of "Peaky Blinders" have hit out at the Ron DeSantis campaign for sharing a bizarre, homophobic video that features Tommy Shelby.
“On behalf of the partners of Peaky Blinkers - Steven Knight, Cillian Murphy, Caryn Mandabach Productions, Tiger Aspect Productions and Banijay Rights - we confirm the footage of Tommy Shelby’s character used within the video posted by Ron DeSantis’ campaign was obtained without permission or official license.
“We do not support nor endorse the video’s narrative and strongly disapprove of the use of the content in this manner."
Cork native Murphy famously starred as Thomas 'Tommy' Shelby in the gritty, award-winning drama "Peaky Blinders," which ended its run in 2022.
The "Peaky Blinders" team responded on Wednesday after the @DeSantisWarRoom Twitter account - which touts itself as the "Rapid Response for @RonDeSantis" - shared the video on June 30 'celebrating' the end of Pride.
"To wrap up 'Pride Month,' let’s hear from the politician who did more than any other Republican to celebrate it…" the tweet said alongside a video that highlights Republican frontrunner Donald Trump's apparent support for LGBTQ+ rights, before segueing into DeSantis' efforts to diminish them.
The video was originally created and shared by the @ProudElephantUS Twitter account.
Tommy Shelby appears at :32 in the video, right after a headline reading "DeSantis shuts down Florida school's 'Drag and Donuts' event featuring drag queen 'Momma' Ashley Rose" and right before another headline reading "Ron DeSantis Signs Draconian Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill Into Law."
Murphy's Shelby character again appears at :41, right after a headline that says "No One Is More Dangerous for The White House Than Ron DeSantis - Including Donald Trump."
At the time of publication on Thursday morning, the @DeSantisWarRoom tweet had been viewed nearly 25 million times.
While positing Murphy's "Peaky Blinders" character in the anti-LGBT side of the bizarre video, the DeSantis team must have overlooked one of Murphy's earlier, award-winning role as a transgender woman.
In 2005, Cork native Murphy starred as Patrick/Patricia "Kitten" Braden, a transgender person searching for her mother in small-town Ireland and London in the 1970s, in "Breakfast on Pluto." Murphy won an IFTA and was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role.
To prepare for the "once-in-a-lifetime" role, the Irish actor sought out a transvestite who agreed to dress him up and take him to clubs, according to a 2005 TimeOut New York article.
"With most characters, you have a reference point, but I had none here whatsoever," Murphy admitted at the time.
He added: "What I noticed about all these transvestites I went out with is that they're so quick and witty because they spend their whole life having insults thrown at them.
"They can be as bitchy as f--k, but it's a total defense mechanism. Kitten has that too, because the character has been hurt so much and has built up this shell."
The film's director Neil Jordan revealed: "I was a bit nervous about revisiting issues I had covered before—you know, with the cross-dressing and the terrorism. So I put it aside and kept working on the script. And Cillian kept coming to me and saying, 'We have to do this movie. I'll be too old by the time you make up your mind.' "
Murphy reflected: "I loved all the grooming. I loved dressing up. I loved looking beautiful.
"I suppose that's the energy of the character, that effervescence and irrepressibility and energy that carries her through life."