Latinos: Missing In Action In Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue


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Photo: Vanity Fair Magazine
Johnny Depp, Ethan Hawke, Al Pacino, Viggo Mortensen, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones and among the older generation of Hollywood actors Marlon Brando, Eli Wallach, Charlton Heston and many more.
What do they have in common besides their thespian professions?
They all were fake Latinos in films in Hollywood’s well-known history of rarely casting Hispanic actors in major roles, the most recent film being the Oscar-winning Oscar where Ben Affleck cast himself as the heroic Latino CIA operative who helped free American captives during the Iran hostage crisis.

Could that somehow have been Latino karma payback in Affleck being snubbed for a best director Oscar nomination?

It’s Oscar time again, and the issue of Latinos sometimes not having even a token place in Hollywood is alive and well. You need to look no further than the 20th annual Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair magazine.
Of the eight actors on the cover and inside cover, five are black, three white. On the extended inside cover, there is a black actor and three white actresses.
Not even poor Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, Oscar nominated for “Gravity,” could crack the Vanity Fair cover, and you have to figure he’s as recognizable as some of those actors on the front whom I can’t even name, much less care about seeing their own ethnocentric films, which brings us back to Latinos and why they can’t seem to get much respect in Tinseltown.
Vanity Fair could easily have passed on having Chadwick Boseman of “42” in the cover photo since he isn’t a nominee, and substituted Cuarón. Or, better still the magazine could have used either Javier Bardem or Penélope Cruz – or both — from Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor,” one of the most anticipated films of the year, or Jessica Alba from Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
As Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief of the online industry daily The Wrap, so eloquently put it:
“Let’s talk about Hispanics. Let’s talk about Asians. They’re nowhere to be found in this Academy Awards season, and so I think there’s a lot of work we have to do in this filmmaking culture to include not just the African-American experience but their experiences, and that’s going to take time.”
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