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John Tibeats, played by Paul Dano, is a minor antagonist from the 2013 biopic film 12 Years a Slave.
Role in film
Tibeats is first introduced as an assistant to slave owner William Ford. Though Ford is shown to be a compassionate man who simply needs workers, Tibeats is a prejudiced man and treats all the slaves like garbage. Soloman Northup, in particular, earns Tibeats hatred by being on good terms with Ford and demonstrating a better intelligence and more sophistication than him (Tibeats). Hankering for a chance to attack Soloman, Tibeats seizes the opportunity by using trivial matters about the slaves’ duties in an attempt to whip Solomon. Having too much dignity, Solomon fought back and effortlessly beat Tibeats, who proved to have nothing backing up his big talk, to a pulp. As revenge, Tibeats had Solomon dangled from a noose for several hours, his feet barley touching the ground. Ford arrived and saved him, however, and to protect him from Tibeats' wrath, sold Solomon to the evil slave owners Edwin and Mary Epps.