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Sesame Street’s New Resident Speaks About Being Latina, Bilingual, And Proud

For a lot of us, “Sesame Street” was our first teacher and the show introduced us to many kinds of people (and muppets) living all over the world. So we were obviously excited when it was announced that TV’s most famous street was getting a new Latina resident to introduce to kids. Suki Lopez is now speaking out about how her Latina pride will be featured in the show.

Originally from Miami, Cuban-American Suki  grew up among many other Latinos and has always been proud of her heritage, something that seemed to confuse people outside of her hometown. As she told The Miami New Times, “I once had somebody comment to me: ‘It’s funny — you’re so proud to be Latina. I’ve never met somebody who’s so proud.'” Her reaction is one that many of have: “Why wouldn’t I be?” She hopes pride comes through in her character,  a bilingual college student named Nina. You can get a peek into Nina’s world (including the bike shop where she works) on Suki’s Instagram. Warning: There will be monsters.

Sesame Street’s other notable Latino residents have included the Delgado family (Luis, Maria, and Gabi), lovable monster Rosita, and – fun fact –Boricua actor Raúl Julía, who played a handyman in the ’70s!

Below, check out Suki talking to “American Latino” about her Cuban background (which includes having lots of café con leche and tostada for breakfast – she’s legit) and what it’s like working on “Sesame Street”:

Credit: American Latino / YouTube

READ: How Sesame Street’s Maria Schooled Us on Dreaming Big

Did you watch “Sesame Street” growing up? Who was your favorite character? (Ours is Maria, obviously. Also, Oscar the Grouch.) And remember to click to like us on Facebook!

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Spanish Actor Javier Bardem Will Be Playing Cuban Entertainer Desi Arnaz in a New Movie and Fans Wish Hollywood Cast a Latino Instead

Entertainment

Spanish Actor Javier Bardem Will Be Playing Cuban Entertainer Desi Arnaz in a New Movie and Fans Wish Hollywood Cast a Latino Instead

Images via Getty

Recently, it was announced that Amazon studios will be producing a movie based on the lives of groundbreaking Old Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. According to reports, Nicole Kidman is set to play Ball while Spanish actor Javier Bardem will be playing Arnaz.

Seeing as Arnaz is widely viewed as one of the first Latino actors to achieve mainstream success in the United States, this news was positive for many. But for others, the news was less than ideal.

Some critics are lambasting the decision to cast Bardem as Arnaz, seeing that Bardem was born and raised in Spain, and is therefore not Latino.

One disgruntled Twitter user wrote: “I guess it’s really hard to find a Cuban actor so you have to hire a Spaniard…Whitewashing can happen to Latinos too.”

The criticism around Hollywood relying on Spanish actors and actresses to play Latino roles is not a new one. For years, Spanish actors like Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz, and Paz Vega have played Latino characters in American movies. The preponderance of this phenomenon have led some people to accuse Hollywood of “white washing” Latino characters by casting Spanish actors.

Antonio Banderas is one of the most famous examples of a Spanish actor who built his career off of playing Latinos.

He has played Latinos for so long that many people think he is, in fact, Latino. But when he was erroneously called a “person of color” by American publications when he was nominated for an Oscar in 2020, there was quiet the outcry in Spain.

Spanish publications condemned American media for having an “absurd obsession” with race, and not understanding that Spaniards are, in fact, white.

Publications wrote arguments like: “Banderas might pass as a Latino ‘person of color,’ to an Arkansas farmer, great-grandson of Germans, but never to a California delivery man born to Guatemalan immigrants.”

To some observers, it seems that Hollywood prefers casting Europeans as Latinos because Hollywood sees Europe as more “sophisticated” than Latinidad.

25-year-old Spaniard Juan Pedro Sánchez, summed up the problem on Twitter, saying: “A lot of people in Spain are bothered if others confuse them for Latin American because Spaniards see Latinos as people of color, and they don’t want to be associated with that.”

He went on to say: “What bothers me is not being considered a person of color, but that people ignore that Spain was a colonizer country. It erases that history.”

The bottom line is, fans are frustrated that Hollywood keeps looking to European actors to cast Latin American characters.

Study after study shows that there is still a stubborn lack of representation for Latinos onscreen. And when there is finally a role that puts a Latino character front and center, Hollywood prefers to hire a European actor over a Latino one.

Javier Bardem is an exceptionally talented actor and there’s no doubt that he will tackle the role of Desi Arnaz with creativity and dedication–but fans’ frustrations at the casting choice doesn’t have to do with Bardem’s acting capabilities. It has to do with the all of the ways that Latinos are discounted–including professionally.

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Here Are The Shows And Movies We Couldn’t Get Enough Of In 2020

Entertainment

Here Are The Shows And Movies We Couldn’t Get Enough Of In 2020

Kanawa_Studio / Getty Images

This year has been a great time to get intimately acquainted with your apartment and home. It was also a time to get very familiar with what there is to watch on your streaming platforms. Here’s what we spent the year of quarantine binge watching.

“The Queen’s Gambit”

“The Queen’s Gambit” was one of the most popular shows of the year. The limited series was all about chess and a young woman’s journey to become the best in the world. She learns while in an orphanage and eventually starts to become a mastermind of chess. The show has brought a lot of attention to chess and more people than ever are interested in the board game. Anya Taylor-Joy as the main character is one of the best performances of the year.

“The Mandalorian”

“The Mandalorian” is the Star Wars show that everyone can’t stop talking about. Pedro Pascal brings the Latino essence to the show without even knowing it. The Star Wars universe is never-ending and this show proves that the fans will show up whenever there is anything Star Wars.

“Los Espookys”

The HBO series is giving you all of the dry, senseless humor you can stand. It is worth watching the show just to get some much needed laughs after this dumpster fire of a year. Let yourself be lost in the hilarity that is Julio Torres.

“Pose”

Afro-Latino queer ballroom culture takes center stage in the FX original show “Pose.” So much of queer culture is thanks to queer people of color and this show honors them. It is one of the best queer shows to ever hit a streaming platform and will open your eyes to a part of the queer community that is often ignored and overlooked.

“Happiest Season”

Another brilliant queer production, “Happiest Season” is all about lesbian love and coming out of the closet. Aubrey Plaza, while not a leading character, plays an important role in helping Abby and Harper’s relationship move to the next level. Harper is left trying to decide if it is worth coming out to her family during the holidays and the result is everything you hoped for.

“The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia”

“The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia” a young robotics genius is living her teenage life with all of the awkward moments you would expect. The show was definitely a sleeper but it makes the list because of the wonderful representation. It isn’t often that you see young Latinas in tech or robotics in media. It’s worth a watch just to fill you with all kinds of good feels.

READ: Netflix Is Bringing Back Seven Classic Black Sitcoms And They’re Already On My Binge List

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