Entertainment

As Hollywood Grapples With Diversity, Here Are A Few Examples Of Hollywood Whitewashing Latino Roles

Hollywood is doing their best to try to fix the diversity issue plaguing the entertainment industry. However, Latinos are the minority being the most left behind. When Latino roles do becomes available, Hollywood often casts a white non-Latino to play the role. Latinos are the most active moviegoers representing a large number of the movie going population. Latinos represent 24 percent of frequent moviegoers to be exact. Yet, we are securing fewer leading roles than ten years ago.

The problem is even higher reaching than just roles available. Less than five percent of directors and producers are Latino. When you find a Latino producer or director (i.e. Guillermo del Toro or Jennifer Lopez), the representation follows. In the meantime, prepare to feel a renewed sense of grief as you realize that the cult classics of your childhood, or even your favorite new Netflix heartthrob, have been robbing undiscovered Latino of their own acting careers.

Charlie Hunnam as Edgar Valdez Villarreal

CREDIT: Untitled. digital Image. Vanity Fair. 20 September 2018.


Let’s not forget when Legendary Studios announced that British actor Charlie Hunnam would be playing Mexican-American drug lord Villarreal, a.k.a. “La Barbie.” Sure, La Barbie is a light skinned Latino, but he is still a Latino and Legendary can do better at understanding the meaning of ethnicity and cultural identity.

The movie has not been released yet.

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in “Scarface”

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latina. 20 September 2018.


For those who haven’t seen the movie, “Scarface” is all about the Cuban migration into Miami and the mob and drug wars that made Miami what it is. Italian Al Pacino rose to fame after landing the role of Cuban drug kingpin Tony Montana. Who knows which Latino could have secured the most iconic mob film fame.

Noah Centineo as Jesus Foster in “The Fosters”

CREDIT: @noahcentineo / Instagram


“The Fosters” is produced by Jennifer Lopez and chock full of Latino characters, but when Puerto Rican actor J.T. Austin quit the show, they replaced him with half Italian half German Noah Centineo.

Cierra Ramirez crushed it as his twin sister, Mariana, and she’ll be co-starring in the spinoff, “Good Trouble.”

Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as Maria and Tony in “West Side Story”

CREDIT: “West Side Story Natalie Wood Richard Beymer” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


“West Side Story” is a classic tale featuring the Sharks, a Puerto Rican street gang vs. the Jets, a white street gang of New York. While Rita Moreno earned an Academy Award for the boricua Anita role, they failed to cast Tony and Maria as Latino.

Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in “Argo”

CREDIT: “Warner Bros. argo” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


Sorry, buddy, but growing a baby beard don’t make you a Mendez. Just when you started thinking that this is a Hollywood snafu of the past, you should know that this casting happened in 2012.

Cliff Curtis as Emilio Restrepo in “Colombiana”

CREDIT: TriStar Pictures / Via ibrahimfirat.net


Cliff Curtis is literally from New Zealand and openly non-Latino. Curtis is widely sought after for playing Latino roles, and it’s frankly the only ones he’s known for. He even played Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in “Blow.” Everyone deserves work and that should be the same for actors of color.

Catherine Zeta Jones as Elena Montero in “Zorro”

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latina. 20 September 2018.


While Shakira and Salma Hayek were both reportedly considered to play the part of Elena Montero, Zeta-Jones scored two leading roles in “Zorro” and it’s sequel. Plus, this isn’t the first time she’s played a Latina role.

Anthony Hopkins as El Zorro in The Mask of Zorro

CREDIT: “The Mask of Zorro” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


We loved this movie as children and it pains me how we couldn’t have possibly known better how outrageous this looks to have El Zoro be a white man with a tiny gotee. For those of you who are wondering, Zorro is a Mexican character and therefore should have been played by a Mexican.

Will Ferrell as Armando in “Casa de mi Padre”

CREDIT: “casa de mi padre 1” Digital Image. IFC. 20 September 2018.


Too often, when white people are cast as Latino characters, it’s to make a mockery of the culture and of Latinos as a whole. The majority of the movie is in Spanish and yet, the screenplay was written in English by a white boy. When will Hollywood learn that whitewashing Latino culture just makes it worse, you ask?

Jack Black as Nacho in “Nacho Libre”

CREDIT: Mitchell Wilson / YouTube


This whole movie is a total spoof of Mexican culture, which could have been funny if it was played by someone other than Jack Black. Someone please remake this true story of Fray Tormenta, a Mexican Catholic priest who had a secret, very famous career as a luchador, with a Mexican actor. We can have a good time laughing at a Mexican making fun of Mexican culture just as much, if not more so, than Jack Black.

John Turturro as Jesus Quintana in “The Big Lebowski”

CREDIT: “jesus header” Digital Image. Nerd Bastards. 20 September 2018.


Italian-American John Turturro’s unforgettable role as Cuban-American Jesus Quintana could have belonged to an actual Cuban American. Once again, Hollywood whitewashes everything.

Armand Assante in “Mambo Kings” (1992)

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latina. 20 September 2018.


This Hollywood tradition has definitely improved over time but is overall unforgivable. in 1989, Cuban-American author Oscar Hijuelos wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of Latino mythology called “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.”

When Hollywood adapted the story into a movie, they gave one of the two main roles to a non-Latino, but at least Spanish actor Antonio Banderas got the second part, who is a little bit closer to Latino in that his country colonized Latin America.

Madonna as Evita

CREDIT: “Evita” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


As much as we love you, Madonna, you could never fully capture what it was like to be Argentina’s First Lady Eva Perón. She was adored by Argentines of the 1940’s until her tragic death in 1952. Key qualifier to crush the role: be Latina.

Hank Azaria as Agador Spartacus in “The Birdcage”

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latina. 20 September 2018.


Hank Azaria earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his part as a gay Guatemalan housekeeper. Tbh, the role was perfection but having a Latino in the role would add to that authenticity.

Viggo Mortensen as Captain Alatriste in “Alatriste”

CREDIT: “Alatriste.” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


Based on a series of novels written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, and even directed by Agustín Díaz Yanes, the leading role went to Danish-American Mortensen. To this date, it is the second most expensive Spanish-language film ever made in Spain.

Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie Valens in “La Bamba”

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Latina. 20 September 2018.


If you’re Mexican, you know who Ritchie Valens is and you know he doesn’t look like this baby John Travolta. Valens created the Chicano rock movement but when Hollywood made the movie of his life, they failed to even cast a Latino to play the Mexican rocker. However, Phillips has played several Latino characters and always treats the roles with respect and that is something to be admired.

Jack Palance as Fidel Castro in “Che”

CREDIT: “Che!” Digital Image. Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


Jack Palance is Ukrainian-American and distinctly not Cuban. Maybe that’s why the film totally flopped? Just guessing over here.

Johnny Depp as Cuban in “Before Night Falls”

CREDIT: “Before Night Falls” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas’ memoir “Before Night Falls” is the heart-wrenching story of what it was like to be openly gay in Cuba under Communism, and be diagnosed with AIDS. Arenas committed suicide shortly after publishing his work.

Johnny Depp played his part.

Ethan Hawke as Nando Parrado in “Alive”

CREDIT: “Alive” Digital Image. The Wrap. 20 September 2018.


The fact that Ethan Hawke was cast to play a Latino would be funny if it didn’t tragically reinforce the white savior narrative we see too often. Nando Parrado was one of sixteen survivors of a Uruguayan airplane crash in the Andes mountains.

He was on his way to business school when he was traumatically forced to survive in the Andes for 72 days. His life was never the same, but he was certainly the hero that kept who he could alive.

Meryl Streep as Clara del Valle in “House of Spirits”

CREDIT: Anja W / Pinterest

Oh, Meryl. If you were Chilean, we’d already have you sanctified, but you’re not. Neither was Glen Close or Winona Ryder when they were cast to play the roles based off Isabel Allende’s novel “La Casa de los Espíritus.”


READ: Food And Wine Learned A Valuable Lesson About Respecting The Cultures Of Foods They Are Covering After This Concha Fiasco

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It’s 2019 And Hollywood Finally Awarded An Oscar To A Native American For The First Time

Entertainment

It’s 2019 And Hollywood Finally Awarded An Oscar To A Native American For The First Time

siouxpergirl92 / Instagram

In 1973, Marlon Brando famously declined his Oscar for his role in “The Godfather,” to take a stance against Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. Actor and activist, Sacheen Littlefeather famously went on stage to refuse the award on Brando’s behalf at the ceremony. It’s only taken a mere 46 years since that day, but this year, a Native American actor finally received the recognition he deserves and was awarded an Oscar for his talent. 

Hollywood’s complicated relationship with Native Americans goes back to the industry’s earliest movies set in the Wild West.

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Sacheen Littlefeather respectfully declining an Oscar on behalf of Marlon Brando, 1973. He was nominated for his role in The Godfather. He declined the award because of the unfair treatment of Native Americans in the film industry. Sacheen, president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, was sent in his place to adress the problems going on, why Brando declined the award and delivered a beautiful speech. Marlon Brando: “I don’t think that people generally realise what the motion picture industry has done to the American Indian, as a matter of fact, all ethnic groups, all minorities, all non-whites. And people just simply don’t realise, just take it for granted that that’s the way people are going to be presented and these clichés are just, I mean on this network every night, well perhaps not every night, but you can see silly renditions of human behaviour, the leering Filipino houseboy, the wily Japanese, the kook or the gook, black man, stupid Indian. It just goes on and on. And people actually don’t realise how deeply people are injured by seeing themselves represented, not so much the adults, who are already injured to that kind of pain and pressure, but children. Indian children seeing Indians represented as savage, ugly, as nasty, viscous, treacherous, drunken. They grow up only with a negative image of themselves and it lasts a lifetime.”

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Nearly 50 years ago, Marlon Brando decided to make good use of his privileged position to decline the Academy Award as a way to protest the mistreatment of Native American actors in the film industry. When Sacheen Littlefeather came to deliver the speech, she told the listeners of the program about the racially-based aggression she experienced including how actor John Wayne was held back by security because he was outraged by Littlefeather. 

It only took Hollywood nearly 50 years, but this weekend, the Academy finally recognized the first Native American actor with an award.

Credit: siouxpergirl92 / Instagram

During Sunday’s Governors Awards, a special ceremony that hands out honorary Oscars for lifetime achievement and humanitarian causes, the Native American actor and Vietnam war veteran was given an honorary award for career achievement. 

Wes Studi’s career has spanned nearly 30 years and it hasn’t always been easy.

Credit: united_historians / Instagram

Studi, a Vietnam War veteran who was an advocate for Native American issues before he pursued a career as an actor, first appeared in a small role in Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves,” but made a searing impression as the villain Magua in Michael Mann’s 1992 epic “The Last of the Mohicans.” His casting as the leading character in Walter Hill’s “Geronimo: An American Legend” (1993) was a milestone for Hollywood —some studios at the time demanded that Hill cast a white actor in the lead role. 

Though Studi was featured in many films, he had never been nominated for an award over the course of his career.

Credit: siouxpergirl92 / Instagram

Though Studi has featured in many projects centered on Native American history (“Into the West,” “The New World,” “Hostiles”), he has also been one of Hollywood’s most reliable and memorable character actors for a generation, with a varied portfolio of work, including a role as a grizzled cop in “Heat” (1995), a mysterious superhero in “Mystery Men” (1999), and an alien patriarch in “Avatar” (2009). Studi, who this weekend became the first Native American actor to win an Oscar, had never even been nominated over the course of his long career. 

Christian Bale, who presented Studi with the award, put a finer point on the issue and called out all the people in the room.

“Too few opportunities in film have gone to Native or indigenous artists, and we’re a room full of people who can change that,” said Christian Bale, Studi’s Hostiles co-star, who presented him with the Oscar. “I’d simply like to say, it’s about time,” said Studi, who delivered much of his speech in Cherokee. “It’s been a wild and wonderful ride, and I’m really proud to be here tonight as the first indigenous Native American to receive an Academy Award. It’s a humbling honor to receive an award for something I love to do.”

The Governor Awards were ideated as a standalone ceremony —separate from the Oscars, to create a free space for winners and presenters to speak and be celebrated with no time restraints.

Credit: www.oscars.org

The honorary Oscar used to be given out as part of the main ceremony. It was a stately portion of the broadcast that required a long introduction, a grand video montage of the honoree’s work, and usually a rambling speech from the winner. In 2009, concerns about long-running times led to the creation of the Governors Awards, a non-televised ceremony held at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center.

Taking the special awards out of the hugely televised ceremony —and the hands of aggrieved network-TV executives— has actually been a benefit for the Oscars, lending the Governors Awards their own atmosphere of genuine acclaim where the winners and presenters can speak a little more candidly and without commercially motivated time restrictions.

Meanwhile, fellow honorees Lina Wertmüller and Geena Davis called for gender parity in Hollywood.

Credit: www.oscars.org

“She would like to change the Oscar to a feminine name,” Isabella Rossellini said, translating Italian director Lina Wertmüller’s acceptance speech for her honorary Oscar. “She would like to call it ‘Anna.’ Women in the room, please scream, ‘We want Anna, a female Oscar!’”

Wertmüller’s speech was the capstone of a night devoted to upending some of Hollywood’s most exclusionary traditions and celebrating some of its outsiders. Not only was Studi the first Native American to be recognized by the Academy, but Lina Wertmüller became the first woman ever to receive a best director Oscar nomination when she was recognized for 1976’s Seven Beauties.

“How do you correct centuries of patriarchal domination?” the screenwriter, producer, and director, Jane Campion asked. “It started with Lina Wertmüller.” 

Credit: @ScottFeinberg / Twitter

Campion, together with Little Women director Greta Gerwig, spoke on the history of women nominated for best director by the Academy. “It’s a very short history, more of a haiku,” Campion said, noting that 350 men have been nominated for best director, versus five for women —including herself and Gerwig, who called Wertmüller “a godmother to us all.”

‘Thelma and Louise’ star Geena Davis called out the industry on the very few opportunities of empowerment given to women.

Credit: www.oscars.org

Also during the black-tie dinner, Geena Davis, became the 39th recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, which celebrates “outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes” for building upon her acting career in films like “The Accidental Tourist,” “Beetlejuice,” “Thelma & Louise,” and “A League of Their Own” to become an advocate for gender equality in media.

Davis delivered a version of the gender-parity pitch she has made in recent years, speaking this time to the industry group gathered in the Dolby Ballroom. “Thelma and Louise made me realize how few opportunities we give women to come out of a movie feeling excited and empowered by the female characters,” Davis said. “The message we are sending is that men and boys are far more valuable to us than women and girls. Whatever you’re working on right now, boost the number of female characters…and then, cast me!”

Each year there is a lot of debate over who should receive these Honorary Oscars, as well as the Hersholt and the Irving J. Thalberg Memorial Award (which was not given this year). Governors come prepared to the meeting to advocate for their choices and a well-researched and delivered presentation can make a big difference. Afterward, candidates must receive a certain threshold of votes. No matter the process, one can’t argue that the achievements of this group of filmmakers meet the criteria of what appeared to be the prevailing sentiment at the Governors Awards—that the event was a chance to right past wrongs, to fill in the many gaps of Academy history, and all we can say is; at long last.

READ: “Roma” Wins Three Oscars At The 2019 Academy Awards

‘Coco’ En Vivo Is Now A Reality As Disney And Pixar Announce A Live Production At LA’s Hollywood Bowl

Entertainment

‘Coco’ En Vivo Is Now A Reality As Disney And Pixar Announce A Live Production At LA’s Hollywood Bowl

Disney / Pixar / YouTube

Coco is one of those movies that redefined our Latinidad in the eyes of mainstream Hollywood. Not only did it make me cry my eyes out because of the all-too-relateable story line but it also made me super emotional to know that kids these days had someone they could see themselves in on the big screen. It was a huge moment and still is one of my favorite movies of the last ten years.

So news that it might be getting the en vivo treatment has me beyond excited.

According to both Disney and Pixar, the beloved Coco will be brought to life this upcoming November just in time for those of us celebrating Día de Muertos. The real life production will be coming to LA’s famed Hollywood Bowl and not only will it feature several original cast members (looking at you Benjamin Bratt) but it will also include a live orchestra, Mariachi Divas, and the voices of Eva Longoria and Miguel just to name a few.

Disney’s Coco is coming to life!

The Oscar-winning cartoon will be recreated for the stage during a special two-night run at the Hollywood Bowl. The one stage production will be brought to life for the first time on November 8 and 9. Fans, who are encouraged to dress in Día de Muertos costumes, will be able to watch the film on the Bowl’s movie screen.

Throughout the production, the film will be accompanied by a live full orchestra.

Mariachi Divas are also set to perform for guests during the event. Coco live will feature a host of star power.

Conductor Sarah Hicks will lead the full orchestra performing Michael Giacchino’s original score along with special guests performing the film’s songs including: ‘Remember Me’, ‘Un Poco Loco’, and ‘The World Es Mi Familia’.

Alongside the film’s stars, several other big name celebs will be in attendance and helping make the event extra special.

Credit: @DisneyMusic / Twitter

The film’s stars Jaime Camil, Anthony Rodriguez and Alanna Ubach will be making cameos. Benjamin Bratt, who played Ernesto de la Cruz, in the film will host the event with Eva Longoria. Other stars set to make an appearance are Lele Pons, Carlos Rivera and Rudy Mancuso. Natalia Jimenez and Miguel will also be present for the festivities. The pair performed the Oscar-winning song Remember Me during the 2018 Academy Awards.

And everyone involved seems nearly as excited as we are to be a part of this production!

Credit:

“I’m very excited to join this incredible group of exceptional talent, in the city that I’m from, to bring this very special move and message to life,” Miguel said in a statement.

Natalia Jimenez also shared her excitement for the project.

She said: “Mis raíces latinas son mi orgullo y celebrarlo sumando mi voz a la música de Coco en el Hollywood Bowl es un honor.”

Translation: “My Latin roots are my pride and celebrating it by adding my voice to Coco‘s music at the Hollywood Bowl is an honor.“

While Alex Gonzalez was thrilled to be celebrating ancestors and so much more.

“The idea of celebrating ancestors is very dear to my heart, especially after the passing of my grandparents.” Alex Gonzalez shared his excitement about the production saying: “Coco is my heart, it means everything to me. It’s ancestors, family, music, love, culture, traditions, dreams, and passion. Coco is everything that inspires, connects, and makes the world a better place. It’s a unique film.”

He added, “The Hollywood Bowl is a very special place where we can celebrate and share our love and appreciation for music and Coco! It’s a huge honor and privilege to be a part of this beautiful performance at the Hollywood Bowl. I am so excited, can’t wait!”

We can’t wait either and here’s all the info you need to get your tickets:

Tickets for the special event got on sale Friday, September 13 at 12pm PST. But you can get them on pre-sale tomorrow.

Now, excuse us, while we book our tickets to LA!