Actor Javier Bardem throws a new "punch" at diversity in Hollywood
The actor plays the Cuban Desi Arnaz, husband of the legendary comedy actress Lucille Ball in Being Ricardos. The issues go beyond Bardem being Spanish.
A new controversy of Latino representation in Hollywood has been served.
The announcement of Aaron Sorkin's new film, Being Ricardo, was overshadowed by the reactions to the announcement that it would be Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem who will play Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, the couple that carried the sitcom, I Love Lucy.
Social media, especially Twitter, was brimming with complaints from Latino users who stressed that the Spanish actor had nothing to do with the Cuban and Latino role of Arnaz.
Some also protested that the role of Lucille was played by an actress who has shown few nuances in recent years, especially in comedy, as was the case with the failure of Bewitched.
There were also numerous opinion articles offended by the blindness in the representation of Latin Americans, pointing to Bardem's monopoly and the stereotypes in which many other actors are pigeonholed.
The successful director, who was also a lead writer for The West Wing, also recently had a premier on Netflix with The Trial of the Chicago 7 when he received an offer from Amazon to produce a script alongside a team of executive directors.
I Love Lucy was a major sitcom broadcast on CBS (1951-1957) that marked an expansion in Hollywood's diversity and the consolidation of Lucille Ball as an actress and comedian.
The core of the issue of the criticism towards Bardem unfolds in several directions, and there are conflicting and angry opinions. On the one hand, Hollywood continues to appear too snobbish about diversity and expansion as actors protest their absence and point out the origin of the problem in the lack of Latinx scriptwriters who can bring their roles to life. In the same vein, there is a monopoly of certain figures that hog the good roles while the rest must play the 'cholo' or undocumented person.
On the other hand, there are the furious defenses that the commercial model itself offers when it comes to presenting projects that need big names to make sales.
Its a profoundly white debate that is replicated in other cultural systems that points to the lack of correlation when it comes to choosing nationalities but on the other hand, can lead to a dangerous slippery slope when it comes to scrutinizing the nationalities of actors, who are always susceptible to subdivision.
Perhaps the nail in the coffin of the debate is the fact that Ball and Arnaz's sitcom represented the fight against the barriers and stereotypes of the American industry. So in this particular case, it might have taken extraordinary efforts to rise to the occasion and get rid of the accusations of Latino myopia.