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There’s no reciprocity. We rarely if ever play non-Latino roles… when they’re heroic. We play them more often than not when they’re shitty or despicable. We’re almost always the zero but practically NEVER the hero… in any significant way. Even or especially to portray OURSELVES as heroes.

I guess the mainstream audiences are so conditioned they can’t see us as credible heroes unless they have a certain Greco-Roman aesthetic (Eurocentric). Your career doesn’t depend upon this specific issue so I don’t expect you to be as sensitive to its nuances but I am; and my ability to feed my family depends upon it so its nt something I speak of lightly or thoughtlessly…

We, real life ‘Latinos of American descent’ are rarely if ever hired to play ourselves when it comes to our best and brightest in real life. They used to do it with Native Americans and don’t do it so much anymore. Why do you think that is? It’s not about race, you’re right Latinos are caucasian as well but American borne Latinos are invisible when it comes to being hired for heroic roles or even Latino roles like Zorro who was probably an American of Latin descent as opposed to a Spaniard, per se.

How do we know that he had an ‘espanish accent’ if he was born and bred right here in California? Do all the ppl of that background always speak in stilted english? I don’t but rarely see that in media. It’s a form of cultural colonization you evidently can’t perceive in its entirety. Barack Obama is half white too but I seriously doubt Ben Afleck will have a go at his character anytime soon; but OUR heroes, real or rarely imagined, are open game for appropriation by anyone with half a name in this town and nobody sees the artistic insult to so many of our own who couldn’t even compete for the chance to truly break barriers in H’wood. This isn’t as plain and simple as it seems to you but when you spend three decades in the biz like I have you see patterns and practice that systematically limit the opportunities to excel in your craft, enlighten your communities and truly empower your people, human beings of all kinds.”


Actor Esai Morales on LatinoRebels interacting with people defending the casting of “Argo.”    He is responding to wince-inducing comments such as:

"Latino actors love the chance play non-Latino when they can pass for it. So I don’t hold anything against Mr. Affleck here."

"People portraying other people is done all the time, because real people can’t act. If you really want to make a movie, then raise the money, hire the cast, and tell your stories."

"I don’t know any other group that gets upset about actors playing different ethnicities if they are the same race…should we start gving DNA tests before people take roles?"

Edit: Disagree about the Native American and Barack Obama parts, though. Hollywood has proven it’s willing to go there…just look at Tonto.

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