The topic of Latinx representation in ‘The Queen’s Gambit’
Fans of the new Netflix show are claiming Latinx representation for the show’s protagonist.
If you are one of the 62 million households who watched Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit in the past 28 days, then you understand the hype. This show quickly went to the top of TV charts and made history as the most successful limited series on the streaming platform.
Anya Taylor-Joy is the lead actress in the show, and her red-headed, deep-thinker protagonist is easy to fall in love with. It’s driven many to watch the series in its entirety over one Saturday night.
The character she plays is Beth Harmon, who masters the game of chess at a young age. Losing both her parents and being left in an orphanage, she finds solace in the game, and grows up traveling the world competing against the most talented chess players, which at the time, were predominantly male.
The game of chess dates back to India in 280 AD. It’s a complex game, but one millions throughout the globe play. The show’s popularity has brought the game back to the spotlight, with many googling how to play, or downloading chess applications.
So yes, the show is amazing and has had an amazing impact. Viewers could not get enough of the cinematics, acting, wardrobe, setting, and plot. This week however, many have realized that Taylor-Joy has some sort of Latino lineage.
Viewers and fans took to social media to bring up the topic of the Latinx representation in the show. Taylor-Joy is a white Latina, and many reacted to the discussion in a negative way as a result.
Many questioned if a Black Latina had landed the role of Beth, would the same celebration be held for Latinx representation? They continued to make the argument that the only reason such a discussion was happening was because Taylor-Joy was white.
The actor was born in Miami, Florida and lived in Argentina until the age of six, speaking Spanish until her family moved to London. In 2017, she told Remezcla her childhood was “really blessed.”
“When I moved to London, I definitely noticed how much I missed Argentina,” said Taylor-Joy.
I don’t care if an actor has a Spanish surname or a parent born in Latin America — if they’re WHITE, it’s NOT anti-racist REPRESENTATION & it doesn’t erode white supremacy. Ask yourself, would they have cast a Black/Brown Latina in that role? What are we even celebrating here?!
— Melinna Bobadilla (@MelinnaTeatrina) November 24, 2020
The show made no push to highlight Latinx representation, and neither did Taylor-Joy herself. The discussion that took place around the topic and show brought to light the devastating fact that though there may be some recognition and pride in her heritage, it is not what people want to see in 2020 unless all Latinos are recognized, and that’s across racial boundaries too.