Did you guess that all of these actors are born, and/or have parents born (or of Latin descent) in Latin American Countries?
1. Kid Cudi - Father from Mexico.
2. Alexis Bledel - Father from Argentina, mother from Mexico.
3. Rosario Dawson - Mother of Afro-Cuban/Puerto Rican descent.
4. David Gallagher - Mother of Cuban descent.
5. Harry Shum Jr.- Born in Costa Rica; raised in California.
6. Odette Annabel - Mother from Cuba, father from Nicaragua.
7. Zoe Saldana - Father from Dominican Republic, mother from Puerto Rico.
8. Marcos Benjamin Lee - Born and raised in Argentina.
9. Gina Torres - Parents of Afro-Cuban descent.
10. Louis C.K - Father from Mexico.
11. Aimee Garcia - Parents are of Mexican and Cuban descent.
12. Jordana Brewster - Born in Panama; parents of Brazilian descent.
General take away?
Neither “Hispanic” nor “Latino” refers to a race, as a person of Latino/Hispanic ethnicity can be of any race. Like non-Latinos, a Latino can be of any race or combination of races.
Now, let’s talk about a really important thing commonly referred to as:
REPRESENTATION IN THE MEDIA
Contrary to their purpose, in popular use Hispanic
are often given racial values, usually non-white and mixed race
, such as half-caste
, in spite of the racial diversity of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Hispanics commonly draw ancestry from European, African, and Native American populations in different proportions
; some Hispanics are entirely of European ancestry, some are of African ancestry, and some are predominantly of Native Central or South American origin; but a large number Hispanics are descended from an admixture of two, three or more origins. Paradoxically, it is common for them to be stereotyped as being exclusively non-white due merely to their Spanish-speaking country of origin, regardless of whether their ancestry is European or not. Judith Ortiz Cofer notes that appellation varies according to geographical location, observing that in Puerto Rico she is considered to be a white person, but in the United States she is considered to be a “brown person.”
On the other hand, since the early days of the movie industry in the U.S., when White Hispanic actors are given roles, they are frequently cast in non-Hispanic white roles. Hispanic and Latino Americans began to appear in the US movie industry in the 1910s, and the leading players among them “were generally light skinned and Caucasian”.
Myrtle Gonzalez was one such American actress in the silent film era; she starred in at least 78 motion pictures from 1913 to 1917.Anita Page was an American actress of Spanish and Salvadoran descent who reached stardom in 1928, during the last years of the silent film.Page was referred to as “a blond, blue-eyed Latin” and “the girl with the most beautiful face in Hollywood”.
Even in the current day, because Americans associate Hispanic origin with brown and olive skin, Hollywood has difficulty making a place for Hispanics with conventionally Caucasian features and will typically sell them as non-Hispanic white, as in the case of Cameron Díaz, Emilio Estévez and Charlie Sheen. Most Americans may not be aware that the actress who played “all-American” Gilmore GirlLorelai Leigh “Rory” Gilmore — Alexis Bledel — is also Hispanic, with a mother from Mexico and father from Argentina.The White Hispanics who are perceived as Hispanic by Americans usually have a typical Southern European pigmentation, with darker skin, hair and eyes.
Some accuse the U.S. Hispanic media and the Latin American media of over-representing White Hispanic and Latino Americans and White Latin Americans (very often blond and blue-eyed or green-eyed), particularly in telenovelas (soap operas), while underrepresenting majority of non-white Hispanic and Latino Americans and non-white Latin Americans, amid claims that telenovelas, in particular, do not reflect the racial spectrum of Hispanic and Latino Americans. For example, in the 2005 U.S. Hispanic telenovela Olvidarte Jamas, white, blond, and blue-eyed Venezuelan American actress Sonya Smith portrayed Luisa Dominguez who is a poor mestiza woman; the actress had to wear a black wig to hide her obvious Caucasian appearance.
You can read more on that here.
Please fandom, I am BEGGING you, stop being so obtuse on this subject. Do not act like colorism isn’t an issue and favor isn’t given to lighter skin actors REGARDLESS OF TALENT over darker skin actors. Do not act like this issue is only relegated to the black community. Do not act like POC demanding more representation for DARKER SKINNED ACTORS who are otherwise limited in the roles they are given—-are racist.
Do not act like film and television aren’t VISUAL MEDIUMS that rely heavily on widespread misconceptions of race. Do not act like Hollywood gives two flying fucks where an actor is born or what language they speak so long as they can “pass” them off as whatever race they so desire. Do not act like you haven’t noticed the most “talented” actors that are receiving the most work are always magically white or PERCEIVED as white. Until it suits Hollywood to give them tans to play something else. Do not submit the “exception to the rule” as evidence of change. It is NOT evidence of change and it will be used against you as evidence of your willful ignorance.
Do not tell POC who are looking for better representation to “wait and see.” We have been “waiting” to “see” our whole fuckin’ lives. The race demographics in the U.S has changed but Hollywood still casts like it’s 1952. This is a text book example of institutionalized racism and this is unacceptable.
What you have just read is information that some of you were too lazy to look up and investigate on your own. If you’ve made it this far—-congratulations—-you have learned something new today!
DO NOT ACT LIKE YOU DON’T KNOW ANY BETTER.
If you can stretch your imagination to accept magic and dragons but stop short at the idea of people darker than beige playing your faves—-I can’t help you. Please proceed to the nearest exit (located to the left) and kindly FUCK OFF.
Your Liege Lady,
Lucrezia Sand, First of Her Name, Queen of Boss Bastards, Breaker of Straw Feminists, Healer of Colorblindness, Mother of Truth Tea, Soothsayer of Truth Bombs, and the Baddest Bitch on the Narrow Sea.
this post is dedicated to J! love u boo!