Entertainment

21 Times Celebrities And Brands Were Called Out For Appropriating Latino Culture

Cultural appropriation happens when a member of a powerful or hegemonic culture, such as Anglo-white culture, adapts elements of a less dominant culture (such as Latin American culture) to produce art or other forms of cultural expression. This is often seen as advantageous and borderline racist. Think of Katy Perry dressed as a Japanese geisha or Gwen Stefani using dresses with African themes.

The fact that appropriation is often used to make money without any benefit for the original creator is one of the problems. Another problem is that things that could be sacred can be used in banal and disrespectful ways.

Here are 21 examples of cultural appropriation. It is important to note that the intention doesn’t necessarily matter here: it is bad in any case. The individual might not be at fault, but the structures of power within society and the media, in general, are certainly to blame.

Excuse me, Marlon Brando looks nothing like Emiliano Zapata.

Credit: 53957836944ec03f4192f25be3b5a436. Digital image. Pinterest. 

Sounds almost como un chiste, right? But yeah, the very white-looking Brando once donned a mustache and wore brown face to play the Mexican revolutionary leader in Elia Kazan’s film “Viva Zapata!” 

What about that one time that Zara used indigenous patterns to mass-produced clothing? 

Credit: bordados-plagio-960×500. Digital image. Animal Politico. 

Sometimes the line between being inspired by culture and appropriating it is very, very thin. Such is the case of Spanish giant Zara, which has been called out for getting a bit too much inspiration from Latin American indigenous women and their awesome work. 

Maria, I just…. wait a minute, Natalie Wood was not Puerto Rican, right? 

Credit: West Side Story / MGM

The entire production of the Oscar-winning “West Side Story”was marred in controversy because most of the cast was not Latino at all. 

A Spanish dude writing about the “exotic” Mexican cartels? Why not?!

Credit: ambos1. Digital image. The Telegraph

“The Queen of the South” is perhaps the most famous novel about the Mexican drug cartels, and it has been adapted into a telenovela and an English-language show. Problem is that it was written by Spaniard Arturo Perez-Reverte, who makes some big uninformed claims about Mexican culture. 

Mel Gibson making an inaccurate movie about the ancient Maya? But of course.

Credit: slice_mel_gibson_crazy_apocalypto_01. Digital image. Collider

Mel Gibson must be one of the most controversial directors ever. In “Apocalypto,”he took a lot of creative liberties to recreate the ancient Mayan civilization. For one, the Mayans were not blood-thirsty savages as Gibson wants us to believe. 

When Madonna dared to play Evita, the most beloved Argentinian of all time. 

Credit: Evita / Hollywood Pictures

The cinematic adaptation and Andre Lloyd Webber’s famous musical was controversial. The production team did travel to Buenos Aires and shot in government buildings, Madonna was great in this role, but some Argentinians never forgave this sacrilege.

Isabel Marant is a famous, rich designer. So why did she steal indigenous designs? 

Credit: mujer-mixe-modelo-diseno-isabel. Digital image. Milenio.

One of the most recent scandals involving cultural appropriation involved designer Isabel Marant, whose collection was “inspired” by the fashion of the indigenous Mixe women. Coincidence or colonial power? 

Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons as Chileans in “The House of the Spirits.”

Credit: The House of the Spirits / Constantin Films

The beloved novel “La casa de los espíritus” by Isabel Allende was adapted with big A-listers in the cast. Why didn’t they hire local talent? No offense to queen Meryl, but she just doesn’t make the cut this time. 

Ashley Tisdale as a sexy catrina.

Credit: 59d50b91d7605b32008b4ab4-960-720. Digital image. Guest of a Guest. 

The Day of the Dead is as popular as Halloween now, isn’t it? Well, catrinas are now a common costume in parties where people go crazy and drink to the supernatural. However, Day of the Dead is a religious and family tradition in its core. Not cool, Ashley, not cool.

Hilary Duff did the same in 2012!

Credit: Large. Digital image. We Hear It!

Yes, it seems like the catrina fashion is here to stay. It is important to note, however, that the Catrina is an important cultural trait for Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.

Steve Martin is a damn funny mariachi, though.

Credit: Three Amigos / HBO

Well, to be honest, this is borderline okay… Steve Martin plays an actor who ends up thinking he is playing a mariachi bandit when in fact it is the real thing. However, the way the film portrays Latin American culture and people is a bit over the top. 

When Beyonce decided to channel her inner Frida Kahlo.

Credit: 1414840540031_Image_galleryImage_Beyonce_Jay_Z_and_Blue_Iv. Digital image. Daily Mail

Beyonce is infamous for appropriating cultures as she pleases. She was recently bashed for dressing up in Bollywood. Here we can see her as the one and only Frida.

Katy Perry is really excited about her sombrero and ring pop.

Credit: katy-perry-sombrero-mexico-0503-400_0. Digital image. Latina. 

Katy Perry is often called out for using ethnic clothing in her shows. She has been a geisha, for example, for which she was hugely criticized. Here, the diva is unashamedly wearing a sombrero. 

Nomás no entiendes, Paris.

Credit: jq1blv. Digital image. EXAFM

The heiress not only dresses like a Mexican for fun, but she has also said denigratory comments against Mexicans even though her family’s hotel empire is in large part sustained by Mexican labor.

Miley, we know you got some spice…. but dressing up as an actual taco? No manches!

Credit: 237E8CD400000578-0-image-28_1416955185205. Digital image. Daily Mail. 

We gotta admit that this Halloween costume is actually kinda funny, but also kinda insulting nevertheless. 

Melissa Rycroft knows how to dance, but should she tango?

Credit: 5684a50578164442d94893585668c830. Digital image. Pinterest

The “Dancing with the Stars”contestant totally got her fake Argentinian fired up.

Old El Paso ads.

Credit: maxres. Digital image. YouTube

We could argue that Americanized Mexican food is cultural appropriation in itself. Old El Paso generally releases ads that fake Mexican settings, even though some feature the one and only Danny Trejo. 

Everyone involved in “The Mask of Zorro.”

Credit: The Mask of Zorro / TriStar Pictures

Seriously, Antonio Banderas can pass as Mexican, even if he has conquistador blood, but Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins? Give us a damn break!

Charlton Heston playing a Tijuana detective, Mike Vargas.

Credit: Touch of Evil / Universal International Pictures 

Yes, “Touch of Evil”from 1958 is one of Orson Welles’ masterpieces, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that both the director and the lead actor Charlton Heston appropriated Mexican border culture by miscasting the lead character!

Sorry, “Nacho Libre”fans, the movie is a tad inappropriate.

Credit: Nacho Libre / Paramount Pictures

Really? Hollywood can make one lucha libre movie and they choose Jack Black as the lead? An expected disappointment.

READ: Once Again, Kylie And Kendall Jenner Are Being Dragged All Over Social Media For Cultural Appropriation

Shakira Bounces Back After A Vocal Injury With A Whole Documentary—’Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour’ Is Dropping This Month

Entertainment

Shakira Bounces Back After A Vocal Injury With A Whole Documentary—’Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour’ Is Dropping This Month

Youtube

Shakira first gained fame in her native Colombia in the mid 1990s. And as a young millennial who grew up to her music, it’s hard to believe that the singer’s been such an iconic presence in Latinx music for almost three decades now. Shakira has built a name for herself as an entertainment powerhouse, this Latina has changed pop culture and reigns supreme as the hip-shaking queen. This year, she’s back from a vocal injury with a whole documentary —which will be premiering in theaters this month. 

In November 2017, Shakira suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage.

After a vocal injury which forced the singer to postpone her first tour in seven years — and her first since becoming a mother to two sons— Shak is ready to bounce back with a documentary that brushes on her vocal-cord hemorrhage injury, but mainly follows her in her 2017 tour ‘El Dorado’.

El Dorado, in 2017, marked her first U.S. trek in seven years. The run, however, was delayed for several months until Shakira recovered from her injury. 

We’ll get to see the Colombiana perform all of her classics. 

The 30-second trailer for the documentary, opens with shots that capture Shakira’s difficult recovery. But the rest of the trailer is packed with shots teasing the singer’s iconic return as she dances across the stage, plays guitar, beats the drums and sings to her classics “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Whenever, Wherever.”

Shakira took control of 100% of what went down during her ‘El Dorado’ tour.

instagram @shakira

Much like Beyonce did in her Homecoming show and ‘documentary’, this Latina diva took absolute control of every aspect of her live show: from the lighting to the musical arrangements to the choreography. “I want to look sexy as hell, or I cancel this!” yells Shakira with zeal to her crew during rehearsal in a scene of the film —and we can relate on a deep spiritual level.

In contrast to Beyonce though, and other superstars of her level, on this tour Shakira had no backup dancers, “I wanted the freedom to improvise,” she says to the camera during the film. The set design was purposefully minimalistic —inspired, she says, by Anton Corbijn, one of her favorite visual artists, who has directed music videos for U2, Metallica, and Depeche Mode.

The documentary was co-directed by the singer and will feature a lot of clips from her 2018 show in LA.

Shakira co-directed Shakira in Concert with James Merryman, and much of the movie was filmed at the pop star’s August 2018 concert in Los Angeles. The film will also feature behind-the-scenes clips and narration from Shakira.

Latinx music fans will also get to see other singers who have collaborated with Shakira.

instagram @nickyjampr

Fans of reggaeton are in for a treat! The documentary also features a few behind-the-scenes moments of Shakira in the studio with Maluma and Nicky Jam, writing and recording their songs ‘Perro Fiel’ and ‘Chantaje’ together. We’ll get to catch glimpses of her interacting with her family —aka her hottie of a husband, Gerrard Pique— and her band during rehearsals and between concerts. Viewers will even get to see her dancing and singing aboard her private plane, still brimming with adrenaline after performing the nightly two-hour-long show.

El Dorado won’t be available on streaming platforms just yet —the singer has something much bigger planned.

Instagram @shakira

Unlike other pop-star documentaries, El Dorado won’t be immediately available on streaming services or DVD. Shakira wanted her fans to have a communal fan experience by screening it in theaters. Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour will be shown in more than 2,000 theaters in more than 60 countries on the same day. Alongside the film, there will be a live album of the tour coming out this week as well. 

Shakira dedicated ‘El Dorado’ to her fans.

instagram @shakira

The entire project, the film and album, is a gift to fans who have been with her through thick and thin and who, Shakira says, are the true protagonists of El Dorado. “When an artist decides to go on tour, in a way, he or she needs reaffirmation,”  she said. “We need to confirm that there’s people out there loving us, worshipping what you do. . . . [There’s] a very narcissistic motivation behind all of that.”  “When I came out on tour this time, there was none of that. I just wanted to do it for them, because they were there for me.”

Tickets for Shakira in concert are available on the film’s website. Shakira in Concert: El Dorado World Tour will premiere internationally on November 13th 

Camilla Cabello Appears Alongside Latina Activists And Game Changers For Time Magazine’s Newly Launched ‘Time 100 Next’

Things That Matter

Camilla Cabello Appears Alongside Latina Activists And Game Changers For Time Magazine’s Newly Launched ‘Time 100 Next’

camila_cabello / Instagram

This week, Time Magazine launched the first edition of its TIME 100 Next list. The new list, which is meant to expand upon Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, which was first published in 1999, is meant to honor the rising stars of industries such as activism, art, and health.  

Not surprisingly, many of the honorees are Latinos!

Camila Cabello Time’s Big Artist 

Grammy-winning recording artist Alejandro Sanz writes about Cuban artist and upcoming actress Camila Cabello in the TIME magazine profile writing that she “is a pure and magnetic artist. We met a few years ago at the Latin Grammys, and shortly afterward, she told me that she wanted to sing together. In all my years in this industry, Camila was the first artist I’ve ever told that she could pick whatever song she wanted to sing.”

In his piece about Cabello, Sanz reiterates Cabello’s career writing that following her success with Fifth Harmony she began recording as a solo artist and worked to bring the roots of Latin music to a  broader audience. “In times like these, when noise can distort the purity of an artist’s message, Camila has managed to honor her story and her background in an authentic way with her pop music. The impact of her songs—from ‘Havana’ and ‘Señorita’ to ‘Shameless’ and ‘Liar’—has opened the door so that the world can see and hear the massive potential of the Latin music community.”

Vanessa Luna The Big Time Leader 

Writer Jasmine Aguilera explained that Vanessa Luna was working as an educator in Los Angeles in 2014 when one of her student’s parents had been deported. The incident gave Luna “an up-close view of how immigration policy can impact a child’s education. Three years later, the educator and DACA recipient co-founded ImmSchools, a nonprofit that trains teachers to better support America’s millions of children with undocumented family members by creating more inclusive classroom environments. In ImmSchools’ first 12 months, 960 students and their families participated in its programs—which include know-your-rights workshops and college-admissions guidance—and Luna, who was named a 2019 Roddenberry Fellow, says the nonprofit will reach more than 1,000 educators this fiscal year. “It shouldn’t be luck that an undocumented student gets what they need in school.”

Jess Morales Rocketto The Innovator 

@latinbowl/ Twitter 

Former Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton writes in her Times piece that “you couldn’t miss Jess Morales Rocketto during my 2016 campaign: she was the young woman standing on top of a cabinet, leading hundreds of staff and volunteers in a rousing chant. After the election, she used her passion, digital savvy and activist experience to facilitate the protests that cropped up at airports across America. She joined the National Domestic Workers Alliance, tackling issues from economic justice to immigration reform. Faced with the crisis at the border, Jess helped lead efforts to reunite every child with their loved ones. And after witnessing the power of women’s activism, she helped launch Supermajority, an organization dedicated to gender equity. She is not only tireless—she is fearless.”

Silvia Caballero the Innovator 

Senior Time’s writer Jeffrey Kluger describes Caballero, microbiologist and immunologist, as a researcher determined to save lives. According to Kluger, Caballero graduated from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2009 eventually began to work at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where she developed a lab mouse with a gut that replicates the human systems infected by drug-resistant bugs. “She then turned the bodies of the mice against the invaders, discovering natural bacteria within the gut that could beat back the infection,” writes Kluger. “Now working for Vedanta Biosciences in Massachusetts, she heads the company’s multidrug-resistant organism decolonization program, whose goal is to do for people what Caballero did for the mice. Her treatment protocol could go into early trials in two years.”

Alexandra Rojas The Advocate 

Time / Twitter 

Writing about Alexandra Rojas, the executive director for Justice Democrats, TIME’s correspondent Charlotte Alter writes that “Rojas and her team recruit and train primary challengers—often young, working-class people of color—to unseat less progressive incumbents. In 2018, they helped elect what’s now known as the Squad: Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley. Now Rojas is working to turn that momentum into more electoral power by building a bench of young progressives in Congress. So far, her group has endorsed eight new candidates running for congressional seats in 2020, including 26-year-old immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros, who has already raised more than seven times Ocasio-Cortez’s 2017 total. “

Paula Jofré A Chilean Innovator  

As Kluger describes in a separate profile about Jofré,  the Chilean researcher believes humans have a lot in common with the stars. “The sun and other stars are a lot like people: they’re born, they age, and they die. Oh, and they have relatives,” writes Kluger. “Jofré, of Diego Portales University in Chile, had along with anthropologist Robert Foley of the University of Cambridge when the two began musing that stars birthed in particular parts of the universe could be elementally related because they condense out of the same interstellar clouds. Since then, they have studied the chemical spectra of the sun and 21 other local stars, and indeed found the equivalent of genetic connections and even a family tree. With trillions more stars across the universe, there are a lot more ancestral connections to be made.”