LATINO VOICES

Catherine Zeta-Jones Is Whitewashing A Role That Could Be Played By An Actual Latina

Lifetime cast the Welsh actress to portray a real-life Colombian drug lord.
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones attends the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in January 2018.
Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones attends the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in January 2018.

Catherine Zeta-Jones is neither Latina nor Hispanic, and yet the Welsh actress is set to portray Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco in Lifetime’s original movie “Cocaine Godmother.”

Blanco was one the the most notable figures of the Medellin Cartel in the ’70s and ’80s and a pioneer in the Miami-based cocaine trade. She was killed in 2012 at the age of 69.

The Lifetime film, which premieres Saturday, aims to tell Blanco’s life story with Zeta-Jones in the starring role. A trailer released in November shows Zeta-Jones portraying the ruthless Blanco with a thick accent. 

Ahead of the movie’s premiere, people have begun to express anger over the character’s whitewashing.

More surprising than Zeta-Jones’ casting, perhaps, is the amount of individuals on Twitter who say they’ve always thought the actress was Latina.

The actress portrayed a woman of Spanish descent in 1998′s “The Mask of Zorro,” opposite real-life Spaniard Antonio Banderas. The role is likely why many fans believe the star is of Latino or Hispanic descent. 

Fans who want to watch a film about Blanco starring a Latina actress can wait for HBO’s TV movie. The network announced Jennifer Lopez would be portraying the Colombian drug lord in August 2016, though little has been announced about the project since. 

HuffPost

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