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"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.”


At an industry event, Ben Affleck hems and haws around playing a real life (Latino American) hero, Tony Mendez, in Argo.

NBCLatino reports:  Ben Affleck gets all bizarre in defending himself as Tony Mendez in Argo.

Writer Maria Nieto, who spoke with Affleck about the whitewashing “accusation,” says that she believes that Affleck is sincere, suggests that Latinos and Croatians can be portrayed as “American” (assimilated into whiteness?) and reports that Ben Affleck told her “in accusations of whitewashing ethnic characters, he would hate to be accused of something which he is so adamantly against.”

In an older interview, Tony Mendez once explained that his mixed Chicano ethnicity seemed to help him do CIA work.   Mendez explained “My (appearance) is such that I can be in India and look Muslim or do the same thing in Russia and Latin America.”

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