Hollywood and their whitewashing, amiright? In the past few years we’ve had to put up with Christian Bale as Moses, Benedict Cumberbatch as a villain of Indian descent in Star Trek: Out of Darkness, Russell Crowe as Noah, Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince of Persia, Emma Stone as an Asian in Aloha, Rooney Mara playing the Native American Tiger Lily in Pan, Jennifer Lawrence as the decidedly non-white Katniss Everdeen, and a midwestern twink throwing the first brick at Stonewall. Don’t even get me started on The Last Airbender.
So it seems odd that in the midst of one of the biggest diversity uproars in Hollywood history, Legendary Studios would announce that blond-haired, blue-eyed English actor Charlie Hunnam would be playing real-life Mexican-American drug lord Edgar Valdez Villarreal in an upcoming biopic. But that’s exactly what they did. And that is “exactly what’s wrong with Hollywood,” screamed a headline from today’s LA Times.
However, it’s not QUITE as bad as every seems to be making it out. Maybe?
Explains Vanity Fair:
Valdez Villarreal is a Texas native who went on to become the only U.S. citizen to ever capture a high-ranking leadership position in the Mexican drug cartel. He was often known as “La Barbie” because his light skin, blue eyes and blond hair brought to mind a Barbie doll.
Hunnam will play the drug lord, who was arrested in 2010 and extradited to the United States after the escape of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, in the picture from Legendary Studios. The studio acquired rights to the 2011 Rolling Stone article “American Drug Lord,” which chronicled Valdez Villareal’s life and arrest, and have set “American Sniper” scribe Jason Hall to write the script, according to Deadline.
Here’s a picture of Villarreal:
And here’s Hunnam:
So maybe? Kinda? What do you think? Should they have at least AUDITIONED a few fair-skinned, blonde-haired Mexican actors for the role?