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When White Actors Stop Getting All The Good Latino Roles, Maybe We’ll Stop Complaining

Did you know that in 2013, less than 5 percent of movie roles went to Latino actors?

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Damon replied:

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Brown’s reaction said it all.

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So, Matt Damon, if diversity is achieved through casting, why did your pal Ben Affleck cast himself as Tony Mendez in Argo?

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Credit: Warner Bros.

In 2012, Affleck played CIA agent Tony Mendez, the central character in Argo. Affleck caught plenty of flak for casting himself, and not a Latino actor, in the role. When asked about the decision to play Mendez, Affleck said:

“You know, I obviously went to Tony and sought his approval…was the first thing. And Tony does not have, I don’t know what you would say, a Latin/Spanish accent, of any kind really, and… you know you wouldn’t necessarily select him out of a line of ten people and go ‘This guy’s Latino.’ So I didn’t feel as though I was violating some thing, where, here’s this guy who’s clearly ethnic in some way and it’s sort of being whitewashed by Ben Affleck the actor. I felt very comfortable that if Tony was cool with it, I was cool with it.”

Ben Affleck isn’t the first white actor to play a Latino in a movie. He probably won’t be the last.

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Credit: Disney

Let’s go back in time… this has been happening for DECADES.

1939: Paul Muni in Juarez

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Muni played Mexican president Benito Juarez in a film that also starred Bette Davis as Carlota of Mexico.

1952: Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!

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1961: Natalie Wood in West Side Story

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Credit: United Artists

Although Puerto Rican actor Rita Moreno won an Oscar for the role of Anita, white actor Natalie Wood played the Puerto Rican character Maria.

1969: Jack Palance in Che! 

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Credit: 2oth Century Fox

Jack Palance, on the right, played Fidel Castro. That’s Omar Sharif as Che Guevara.

1989: Armand Assante in The Mambo Kings

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Credit: Warner Bros.

Assante, an Italian actor, was tasked with playing a Cuban musician named Cesar Castillo.

1993: Ethan Hawke in Alive

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Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

Hawke played Nando Parrado in Alive, the true story of an Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes and were forced to take drastic measures to survive.

1995: Marisa Tomei in The Perez Family

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Credit: The Samuel Goldwyn Company

Tomei played Dorita Evita Perez, a Cuban refugee who makes it to the US in the Mariel boatlift.

1996: Madonna in Evita

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Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

In this musical, Madonna was cast to play Argentine First Lady Eva Perón.

1996: Hank Azaria in The Birdcage

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2001: Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind

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Credit: Universal Pictures

Connelly played John Nash’s wife, Alicia, who was from El Salvador.

But that only happened in the old days, when there were no Latino actors to choose from, right? WRONG.

2011, Carey Mulligan in Drive

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Credit: FilmDistrict

The character of Irene was written as a young Latina, but director Nicolas Winding Refn cast Carey Mulligan instead. He told The Huffington Post:

“I couldn’t find any actress that would click with me personally. I couldn’t make a decision for some reason. I had all this talent in front of me and out of the blue I get a call from Carey because she wanted to meet me about doing a movie. She came by the house and she walked in and I realized, ‘Oh my God, this is what I was looking for.’ I wanted to protect her … And I knew that was the Driver’s motivation.”

And one more time, for emphasis: Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in 2012’s ARGO.

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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

So what were you saying about diversity and casting, Matt Damon?

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These Christmas Movies Will Make Your Season Festive And Bright

Entertainment

These Christmas Movies Will Make Your Season Festive And Bright

overturefilms / YouTube

Christmas is here and it is time to get super festive, y’all. One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is by watching the movies that will take you to that place. Here are some Latino Christmas movies that will get you feeling all Christmas-y.

“Christmas Bounty”

WWE brings you this love story that follows a woman and her secret. The school teacher (Francia Raisa) is hiding her past as a bounty hunter when she gets pulled back in. Raisa’s character goes back to her hometown and has to work with her ex-boyfriend to catch a bounty that got away.

“This Christmas”

“This Christmas” is a family holiday movie with serious issues. A family’s matriarch assembles her family for the first time in four years. The holiday gathering is filled with stress and drama as strains show within the family. It is a real look at what happens when some families with secrets come together and confrontations happen.

“Holiday In Handcuffs”

This one is so wild it is worth a watch. Melissa Joan Hart plays a woman who is desperate to show her family that she is finally in love. How? Well, she kidnaps a man played by Mario Lopez and takes him to her family’s house for Christmas. We are talking felony kidnapping but it’s all cool because, as you would expect at Christmas, they fall in love.

“Happiest Season”

Hulu’s original movie “Happiest Season” is a lesbian Christmas love song that will melt your heart. Kristen Stewart plays a woman suckered into going to her girlfriend’s parents’ home for Christmas. But the catch is that her girlfriend isn’t out. Aubrey Plaza plays a woman jilted by Stewart’s girlfriend and helps the young woman navigate her way through this family.

“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”

Pulse pounding and hilarious. “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” is exactly what you would expect from the franchise. Danny Trejo plays Harold’s father-in-law who wants a perfect Christmas, something Harold is determined to make happen. When Kumar gets involved, things go sideways fast and the two friends are left figuring out how to save the holiday.

“Nothing Like The Holidays”

A Puerto Rican family gathers for what might be their last Christmas together. The family tries to make the most of the time together and, as you would expect, lessons are learned and familial bonds are made stronger. There is something so powerful about gathering during the holidays.

READ: We Sit Down With José Feliciano To Discuss the 50th Anniversary of His Christmas Masterpiece, ‘Feliz Navidad’

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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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