Culture

25 Times Latino Roles Were Unforgivably Whitewashed In Hollywood

It’s been decades since the first films hit the screen and a lot has changed. Images are sharper, in color and the same goes to some of the most mainstream movie storylines. These days, we’re getting more stories about people of color and some of them have even come to truly speak to experiences that make up non-white cultures. Still, despite all of the advances, Hollywood isn’t quite there yet when it comes to accurate portrayals of Latinos and other people of color. Particularly when it comes to whitewashing on the screen.

Here are 25 times Latinos roles were unforgivably whitewashed in Hollywood.

1. “The Mask of Zorro”

CREDIT: Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Mask of Zorro / TriStar Pictures

Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was a completely unknown actress when she was first cast as Zorro’s love interest in “The Mask of Zorro.” Despite the promising box-office values of well known Latinas like Shakira and Salma Hayek, Zeta- Jones got the part. Zeta-Jones ultimately reprised her role as the Mexican beauty in the film’s sequel, “The Legend of Zorro.”

Shout out to Anthony Hopkins for appropriating another role as a person of color (we’re looking at you “The Human Stain”)

2. “West Side Story”

CREDIT: Natalie Wood in West Side Story / United Artists

When it comes to whitewashing, this cinematic classic is guilty of many offenses. The film, which tells the story of rival street gangs earned Latina icon Rita Moreno an Academy Award. Still, we’re gonna give this one an F  for it’s largely white casting when it came to its Latino characters. Not only was the role of Maria given to white American actress Natalie Wood, but the role of her brother Bernado, was given to Greek actor George Chakiris. Also, various members of the cast were put in brown face (including Moreno) to appear “more Hispanic”.

3. “Scarface”

CREDIT: Al Pacino in Scarface / Universal Pictures

Italian actor took on the role of a Cuban drug kingpin. The whitewashing is truly shamefull and embarrassing, but arguably not as bad as the actors horrible attempt at a Cuban accent.

4. “The Birdcage”

CREDIT: Hank Azaria in The Birdcage / United Artists

Hank Azaria has family on both sides come from Thessaloniki a Spanish Jewish community from Greece. Still, he doesn’t identify as Latino, but despite this he sure felt comfortable enough to portray one in the 1996 comedy “The Birdcage.” In the film, Azaria plays a gay, Guatemalan housekeeper named Agador Spartacus, its a role that earned him a Screen Actors Guilde Award nomination and quite a bit of acclaim.

5. “The House of Spirits “

CREDIT: Glen Close and Meryl Streep in “The House of Spirits ” / Miramax Films

The on-screen adaptation of Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits is also guilty of complete white washing. Even though the book’s characters are from Chile, the film’s creators chose to not only cast non-Latina actor Meryl Streep, they piled on actors Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close and Winona Ryder in the main roles too.

6. “Evita”

CREDIT: Madonna in Evita / Buena Vista Pictures

We love Madonna, but even we have to admit that casting her as First Lady of Argentina, Eva Perón, was blasphemy. Sorry Hollywood, casting Antonio Banderas in the film doesn’t make up for this.

7. “The Mambo Kings”

CREDIT: Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas in The Mambo Kings / Warner Bros.

Oscar Hijuelos book The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love earned the Cuban-American writer a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It had so much potential to be a hit film, then the adapters of the film tapped Armand Assante, another non-Latino, as the lead role. Once again, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas played second fiddle to a non-Latino lead.

8. “Alive”

CREDIT: Ethan Hawke in Alive / Buena Vista Pictures

The true story of an Uruguayan rugby team who had survived a plane crash in the Andes mountains was portrayed in the 1993 film “Alive.” In real life, soccer player Nando Parrado, relieved the team by going on a 10 day hike out of the mountains to get help. Ethan Hawke took on the role.

9. “Before Night Falls”

CREDIT: Johnny Depp in Before Night Falls / Fine Line Features

Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir Before Night Falls, was made into a film adaption in 2000. Johnny Depp took on the role of two Cuban characters including as a drag queen.

10. “The Big Lebowski”

CREDIT: John Turturro in The Big Lebowski / Gramercy Pictures

In 1988, Italian-American actor John Turturro famously played Cuban-American Jesus Quintana in The Big Lebowski. Apparently, the actor wants to play Jesus in a spin-off focused on the Latino character.

11. “La Bamba”

CREDIT: Lou Diamond Phillips in La Bamba / Lou Diamond Phillips

Mexican-American musician Ritchie Valens is widely praised as is a pioneer of Chicano rock. The biopic on his life “La Bamba” chronicle his life, career, and death. Still, creators chose to pick Lou Diamond Phillips for the iconic role.

12. “Argo”

CREDIT: Ben Affleck in Argo / Warner Bros. Pictures

“Argo” is based on the true story and efforts of CIA operative and Mexican-American, Antonio J. Mendez. During a 1980s Iranian hostage situation, Mendez helped orchestrate the rescue of six American. The director, Ben Affleck, cast himself as Mendez and ultimately went on to win The Academy Award for Best Picture.

13. “A Beautiful Mind”

CREDIT: Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind / Universal Pictures

“A Beautiful Mind” is a movie based on mathematician John Nash’s life and career as well as his marriage to Alicia Lardé. In real life, Alicia was a Salvadorian MIT student. In the movie however, she was played by Jennifer Connelly who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film 2001.

14. “The 33”

CREDIT: Juliette Binoche in The 33 / Warner Bros. Pictures

“The 33” tells the true story of 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped underground for 69 days. It also portrays the efforts of Maria Segovia, a woman who had in real life, fought to keep Chilean family members informed about the status of their trapped family members. Segovia was Chilean but portrayed by French actress, Juliette Binoche.

15. “American Drug Lord”

CREDIT: Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy / 20th Television

British actor, Charlie Hunnam, got quite a bit of attention a couple of years ago when it had been announced that he had accepted a part  in the film “American Drug Lord” as Edgar Valdez Villarreal. The Mexican-American drug lord had been given the nick name “La Barbie” for his blue eyes and blonde hair, and he was Latino. Many believe Hunnam’s casting of the role was still a complete injustice.

16. “Drive”

CREDIT: Carey Mulligan in Drive / FilmDistrict

In the movie, Carey Mulligan plays a woman named Irene. In the book, character is based off of a Latina named Irina.

17. “Casa de Mi Padre”

CREDIT: Will Ferrell in Casa de Mi Padre / Pantelion Films

There’s no doubting the fact that Casa de Mi Padre  was meant to be a spoof. Still, watching Will Ferrel play Armando Álvarez with the manner of a Latino stereotype still killed us.

18. “Power Rangers”

CREDIT: Elizabeth Banks in Power Ranges / Lionsgate
Saban Films

Fans were pumped when they learned the “Power Rangers” film would include iconic villain, Rita Repulsa— a character typically portrayed by Japanese or Latina actresses. They were pretty bummed when they learned Elizabeth Banks had been given the role.

19. “Nacho Libre”

CREDIT: Jack Black in Nacho Libre / Paramount Pictures

So this was another spoof but its whitewashing still isn’t likely to be forgiven. In the film, Nacho is based off of Fray Tormenta, a Mexican Catholic priest who had a decades long career as a masked luchador. Shamefully it was played by Jack Black.

20. “Touch Of Evil”

CREDIT: Charles Heston in Touch of Evil / Universal International

This classic Orson Welles film has been harked as masterpiece for decades. Still, we’re hardly impressed by Charles Heston’s odd portrayal of Mexican DEA agent,  Miguel Vargas.

21. “Hell To Eternity”

CREDIT: Charles Heston in Hell to Eternity / Universal International

Actor Jeffrey Hunter took on the role of  Guy Gabaldon, who in real life was Mexican. Vom.

22. “A Mighty Heart”

CREDIT: Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart / Paramount Vantage

Of course we love Angelina Jolie. Still, her decision to take on the role of Mariane Pearl, a French-born woman whose Cuban mother was of Afro-Chinese descent was not good.

23. “Spotlight”

CREDIT: Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight / Open Road Films

The biographical film “Spotlight” starred Mark Ruffalo playing Michael Rezendes, a Boston Globe reporter. The film won an Academy Award for Best Picture as well as an award for  Best Original Screenplay.

24. “Fiesta”

Actress Esther Williams played Mexican bullfighter Maria Morales.

25. “The Godmother”

CREDIT: Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Godmother / Lifetime

Of course, we had to sneak in one more Catherine Zeta-Jones pic. Her role in the Lifetime biopic about drug lord Griselda Blanco had the internet troubled.


Read: Here’s Why The Women Of Costa Rica Dressed As Characters From ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

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Tens Of Thousands Of Puerto Ricans, Including Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin, Call For The Resignation Of Gov. Rosselló At Massive Old San Juan Protest

Things That Matter

Tens Of Thousands Of Puerto Ricans, Including Bad Bunny And Ricky Martin, Call For The Resignation Of Gov. Rosselló At Massive Old San Juan Protest

badbunnypr / Instagram

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans shouted “Ricky, renuncia!” as they marched through the streets of Old San Juan in its fifth and largest protest calling for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.

Early in the demonstration, Puerto Rican stars like Bad Bunny, Residente, Ricky Martin, PJ Sin Suela and more gathered in front of the Capitolio, where they held large Puerto Rican flags and signs that read “los enterraron sin saber que somos semillas,” and encouraged a roaring crowd to not abandon their fight. As the artists stood atop a white truck in the midst of protestors, activist Tito Kayak, who famously placed the Puerto Rican flag on the Statue of Liberty’s crown in 2000 in protest of the US’ presence in Vieques, scaled the flagpole in an attempt to remove the American flag. The crowd erupted in cheers, chanting “Tito, Tito,” showing that the protest in the US territory extends beyond the people’s grievances with their local government.

Bad Bunny took to the streets of Puerto Rico with his fellow Americans to protest a governor they want out of office.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

Protests erupted on Saturday after Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages of a private Telegram chat between the governor and some of his officials. The messages included profanity-laced homophobic, transphobic and misogynistic comments about female politicians, celebrities and protestors and hard-hearted jokes about the victims of Hurricane María. For the people of Puerto Rico, who were just rocked by a money-laundering scheme by its education and health leaders and endured repeated neglect and abuse by both its local and federal governments following the devastating hurricane, the chats symbolized the final straw.

As darkness fell on Wednesday, some of the celebrities spoke out.

Credit: badbunnypr / Instagram

“This government has to begin respecting the people. We can’t stop protesting,” Residente, born René Pérez Joglar, said. Later, Puerto Rican singer iLe, Residente’s younger sister, sang the original, revolutionary version of La Borinqueña, with demonstrators, holding their flags and fists in the air, joining her in song, belting, “Vámonos, borinqueños, vámonos ya, que nos espera ansiosa, ansiosa la libertad.”

By la Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, tension sparked in the mostly-peaceful protest in the late hours of the night. Demonstrators, some throwing bottles of water and fireworks, busted through a barricade. Police fired tear gas, dispersing the massive crowd and angering local residents who allege officers discharged on empty streets where elders and youth in their homes struggled to breathe as a result of the smoke.

Other areas of the old city looked like a war zone, with officers chasing and shooting rubber bullets at protestors, trash bags blazing on cobblestone streets and the windows of graffiti-laden establishments shattering.

According to authorities, at least seven protesters were arrested during the protests and four police officers were injured. There is also an investigation into an officer who forcefully grabbed a demonstrator alleging she was trying to jump over a barrier, though footage of the incident later revealed she was not.

Motorcycles also thundered through the city early Thursday morning, as a protest caravan of thousands of motorcyclists, led by El Rey Charlie and reggaetoneros Brytiago, Noriel, and Ñengo Flow, traveled from Trujilo Alto to Old San Juan in a journey that captivated the island.

People on the island are relentless in demanding that their voices be heard.

Credit: elreycharlie / Instagram

“We won’t stop. The oppression is over. The repression is over. Ricky, resign or we will take you out because the people put you there and we are ready to remove you. We want you out,” El Rey Charlie, a beloved motorist on the island, told Puerto Rican network WAPA-TV.

Outside of San Juan, groups around the island also took to the streets. In the States, the diaspora and their allies similarly demonstrated in Orlando, New York, Miami, Boston, Cleveland, San Antonio and more, while international actions occurred in the Dominican Republic and Spain as well.

Despite the massive uprising, Rosselló has contended that he would not resign. The governor, who previously apologized for his “improper act,” said that he believes he could win over the people of Puerto Rico.

“I recognize the challenge that I have before me because of the recent controversies, but I firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we will be able, after this painful process, to achieve reconciliation,” he said in Spanish. “I have the commitment, stronger than ever, to carry out the public policy.”

The governor is desperately trying to get people to forget about the unacceptable and offensive conversations he was involved.

Credit: @ricardorossello / Twitter

As Rosselló insists he would not step down, the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, has already appointed three lawyers to investigate the contents of the leaked chats to determine whether an impeachment process can begin.

Additionally, Puerto Rico’s non-voting delegate to Congress Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, who is a member of the governor’s pro-statehood New Progressive Party, has called for a meeting among her PNP colleagues.

There is no shortage of corruption that people want to get rid of right now.

Credit: @Jenniffer2012 / Twitter

“There must be an urgent meeting of the directory of @pnp_pr to discuss everything that is happening,” González-Colón said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump also took the opportunity to lambast the embattled governor as well as criticize the island, including the mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz, for corruption.

President Trump weighed in on the matter and used it to attack an island still recovering from the hurricane and the mayor of San Juan.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

He continued: “This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!”

But for many protesters, the marches aren’t just about sending a message of indignation to Rosselló, but rather to all corrupt politicians on the archipelago as well as the colonial federal government. Protest posters illustrate Rosselló with Trump’s hair to compare the two abhorred leaders, while vandalism on concrete walls screams for the resignation of the governor, the fiscal control board and the island’s colonial ties to the U.S.

Today and tomorrow, the people say, the uprising continues, with demonstrations planned across Puerto Rico and its diaspora in the US and worldwide.

Read: Here’s What You Need To Know About The Puerto Rico Uprising

Chisme Says Javier Bardem Is Close To Landing The Role Of King Triton And People Have Some Thoughts

Entertainment

Chisme Says Javier Bardem Is Close To Landing The Role Of King Triton And People Have Some Thoughts

Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff

Disney just recently announced that Halle Bailey would be portraying Ariel in the live-action remake of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and finally we are starting to see better presentation of POC on the big screen.

The reaction to her casting was huge and, of course, came with it’s share of racist trolls.

But Disney is giving us another reason to celebrate ‘The Little Mermaid’ with word that Javier Bardem is in talks to start as Ariel’s father, King Triton.

Javier Bardem could possibly play King Triton in the live-action ‘Little Mermaid.’

Credit: @RottenTomatoes / Twitter

Big news from Disney — Spanish actor Javier Bardem is reportedly in talks to join the cast of Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of the ‘Little Mermaid.’

And the best part? He’s up for the role of Ariel’s dad and the ruler of Atlantica, the mighty King Triton. If the reports are true, Javier will be joining a star-studded cast for the highly-anticipated flick.

Although Javier is in talks to play King Triton, other actors have publicly said they’d want to be considered in the Rob Marshall-directed movie. Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews took to his social media and posted a selfie of himself as the underwater ruler.  “Ariel’s Dad!!!!,” he wrote alongside the image.

Reactions on Twitter have been mixed to the news but a lot of people love the idea of Javier Bardem as King Triton.

And you can count us among that group. He’s a very talented actor, who, in fact, has won an academy award. So we have faith that he’ll be an amazing King Triton.

And this user had a very beautiful way of looking at the possible casting.

Credit: @DEADLINE / Twitter

The sea is definitely a colorful place. Plus, also, mermaids aren’t real so Disney can cast whoever they want in which ever role they want.

While this person was excited for the possibility of something like Cinderella.

Credit: @DEALINE / Twitter

And we have to say that we agree. Brandy in Cinderella was everything and we would love to see Halle Bailey bring that same sort of energy to this role as Ariel – and we have faith that she will.

Though it looked like many on Twitter weren’t having any of it.

Credit: @IGN / Twitter

It looked like some were confused by the whole family tree while others just wanted the so called classic ‘Little Mermaid’ (read: white) that they grew up with and already know.

But more than one Twitter user easily shut down the haters.

Credit: @Spartan901 / Twitter

That’s right people. Mermaids aren’t real. They could cast this however they want to cast it.

While many others were totally stanning for Terry Crews.

Credit: @people / Twitter

Count us in on this as well. Who doesn’t love funny man Terry Crews?! Apparently, he also really wants the role. He even tweeted out a photo of the film with the caption #ArielsDad.

Whoever plays King Triton will be joining a star-studded cast.

A few weeks ago, the studio announced that R&B singer (and Beyoncé’s protégé) Halle Bailey would take on the role of Ariel, while Melissa McCarthy would play Ariel’s nemesis Ursula. Other castings include 12-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s best friend Flounder and Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina playing Scuttle, the pair’s other friend that gives them access to objects from the human world. Harry Styles is also reportedly in talks to play Ariel’s love interest Prince Eric.

READ: Racist Twitter Is Coming For The Black Actress Recently Tapped To Be ‘The Little Mermaid’ And She Ain’t Batting An Eye

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