Entertainment

Rita Moreno Revealed She Refused To Sing The Original Lyrics To “America” Because They Were Highly Offensive To Puerto Rico

EGOT winner Rita Moreno has been leading up the mic lately. Whether its speaking out about the fate of the beloved former Netflix show “One Day At A Time” or thanking fans for recognizing her work over the years while accepting a Peabody Award, the Boricua has proved she’s got quite a bit to say. This week, the Latina icon shared her excitement for the upcoming remake of West Side Story and decision to put her foot down during filming for the original film when lyrics about her homeland, Puerto Rico, proved to be racist and disparaging.

In a recent interview with Hollywood Reporter, Moreno revealed that she had refused to sing the lyrics created by composer Stephen Sondheim at one point during filming.

Moreno revealed that as director Steven Spielberg headed to Puerto Rico to have a conversation with Puerto Ricans about their issues with the original film, there were quite a few concerns about Anita’s speech before singing “America.”

“There’s a lot that’s interesting about the objection to that number. In defense of the original, some people choose to be offended by the things that are said about Puerto Rico — but they completely disregard that it’s one native’s point of view,” Moreno explained. “Which is why the number turns into a song that’s really insulting America. ‘Puerto Rico, my heart’s devotion, let it sink back in the ocean’ … that one really clings to people’s hearts. It still does. But let me sing you the original three lines: (Singing) ‘Puerto Rico, you ugly island, island of tropic diseases.’ That is venal.”

Moreno revealed that she was so insulted by the lyric she told Sondheim she would walk off set if it wasn’t changed.

“I wanted this part so badly, so badly. But a few weeks after I got it, I suddenly remembered that lyric. Nobody knows this, but I said, ‘Those words won’t come out of my mouth.'” I was going to give it up on principle, not because I was brave — but because I couldn’t bear the thought of doing this to my people,” she explained. “But then [Stephen] Sondheim changed the lyric.”

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‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Entertainment

‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Phillip Faraone / Getty Images

Shia LeBeouf is in the new movie “The Tax Collector” and people are accusing him of brownface for this role. The actor takes on the accent for the role and got a chest tattoo to do the role authentically. For some, it is cultural appropriation and it has started a debate.

Shia LeBeouf is the man in “The Tax Collector” and people have questions.

The pulse-pounding trailer has all of the action you can handle so you can only imagine what the full movie is like. The movie is all about the tax collector having to fight to protect his family when a rival takes over his turf. LeBeouf is ready to do whatever it takes to save his family.

Some people are very upset about the role for LeBeouf.

The tattoos and the accent are too much for people. Some have argued that the role was not at all a way of cultural appropriation. Instead, LeBeouf is playing a white role that happens to have grown up in a neighborhood where he picked up the accent and a certain way of dress.

The argument is going both ways with people fighting to defend him.

While the role could be really problematic for some, others see themselves reflected in it. There are many people defending LeBeouf because they too grow up in a neighborhood and took on the culture of the neighborhood.

The director of the film, David Ayer, spoke out saying that LeBeouf is not in brownface.

“He’s a white guy playing a white guy. He’s not taking anyone’s work away,” Ayer told the LA Times to calm the critics.

What do you think?

READ: Bon Appétit Editor Adam Rapoport Resigns Over Brownface Scandal

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Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Entertainment

Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Rich Fury / Getty

After months of delays and waiting, Disney has announced that Mulan fans will no longer have to wait for a major theatrical release to see the live-action version of the animated classic. On Tuesday the Walt Disney Company revealed that the film will no longer seek a major theatrical release and that the blockbuster’s debut will take place on the subscription streaming service, Disney+.

To see the movie, customers will need to pay an additional $29.99 on top of the cost of the monthly subscription for Disney+

“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained in a statement according to Variety. “We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters.”

The company has said that it plans to release Mulan in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not available to audiences.

According to Variety, “The decision to put Mulan on premium video-on-demand further emphasizes the studio’s increased reliance on Disney Plus at a time when most of their business — from theme parks and cruises to movie theaters and retail stores — have been crippled by the pandemic. Research, Chapek says, suggests that bringing a high-profile release like Mulan to homes “will act as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus.”

Mulan had been originally scheduled for a theatrical debut on March 27 and was meant to be Disney’s biggest theatrical release for the year.

Disney shelled out a $200 million budget and in early March the studio set up a lavish red carpet premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Days later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone the movie’s release. The movie’s debut was then pushed back several times before Disney announced last week that they would indefinitely remove it from the release calendar. Fortunately, they’ve changed their mind and Mulan will debut on the streamer’s new platform on September 4, 2020.

Disney’s latest version of Mulan stars actress Yifei Liu as the titular character based on the legend of a female Chinese warrior who disguises herself and takes her father’s place as a soldier.

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