Growing up, I thought actors like Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz are what Latinos are like. I definitely didn’t see them around me – people like Bardem and Cruz – but I always thought I was missing out on some magical Latin lands where we looked like this. I didn’t learn it wasn’t until years later. They were Spaniards. I lied to them and to Hollywood.
To understand this anger and disappointment, I’ll focus on the recent announcement that Javier Bardem is looking forward to the role of famous Cuban actor Daisy Arnaz in Being Ricardus Film directed by Aaron Sorkin about Lucille Ball and Arnaz, on set I love Lucy. If you are not part of the Latinx community, your initial answer might be positive. Bardem is a talented actor, but have you ever stopped to think about the kind of movies and roles he does, or the fact that a lot of them are Latin?
Twitter definitely did, and it got wild when it was announced.
Lots of Hispanic Hollywood Actors are waiting to have a big break while they’re stuck playing Cholos, hiring Javier Bardem … https://t.co/Hhct8nPEwN
– 🐙 (@ seabitch13) January 11, 2021
And before she comes to me cries, “But she is acting!” I know he’s acting. I watched a lot of TV and movies. Bardem’s problem with playing another Latin character is that it perpetuates this stereotype that HE is what Hispanic men look like, which is important when it comes to real-world perception and it ends up perpetuating stereotypes along with the types of roles that Act Go to the latin men.
Like Penelope Cruz, Bardem is not an example of who we are as a people. We are vibrant and versatile in autofocus and come in all shades. And we are very proud to see Latino people get roles that represent us and our different experiences. But who it is represented becomes especially important to us when everything you see in TV and movies is Latin actors playing coleos and gangs. This bathroom makes us so, for people who have never met us before, we are nothing more than thugs.
And when other studios look to create more diversity in their TV shows and movies, they will look to Bardem as an example of Latino people. This is the erasure of Latinx, and the blanket phenomenon also wipes out blacks, indigenous or Asiatic Latinos who are not as light-skinned as Bardem or other Latins.
So, on the one hand, you have another Spaniard who is giving the world a misunderstanding of who we are as Latino. On the one hand, you have real Latino actors who are only given roles based on pain, misery and poverty. Put these two together, and you’ll get a community that is tired and tired of not being portrayed properly in the TV shows and movies that we watch over and over again.
– Erica Davy Rose (@ ezrock5) January 11, 2021
There is also the fact that the Spanish were our colonists. As a Latina woman, I remember growing up and being told stories of how Spain destroyed our people, our language and our culture. They came and erased who we were, and I can’t help but feel the same way when Bardem gets roles aimed at sharing the Latinx experience. He is not Latin. He is Spanish and he cannot act us, especially in such a creative role as Desi Arnaz.
At the end of the day, there are a lot of Latino actors who could take on the role. Danny Pinault, from One day at a timeHe is a prime example in the sea of many who love to play Arnaz. Instead, we’d probably get another nice pick that doesn’t expand on acting, but ruin it. I’m tired of it. I want the real thing, and I want it now.
(Photo: Bleeker Street)
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