Entertainment

Turns Out The “Latina Charmed” Reboot Isn’t Quite As Full Of Representation As The CW Led On

There’s no denying that when we first learned that the CWs beloved 90s hit Charmed would be turning it’s three witches into brujas that we were massively thrilled. News of the series reboot and its trio of Latina sisters felt like a huge win for all mujeres mostly because up until that point our very real thirst for representation in the media we consume has gone unsaturated. So much so, that we weren’t just thrilled about the Latinx reboot, we were excited, enchanted, embrujado. So, you can imagine our massive disheartenment and disappointment when we first learned that reports of the show’s seeming commitment to ensuring Latina representation were grossly over exaggerated. The ultimate stab to the wound, however, was our realization that the big time TV network behind shows like “Jane The Virgin” and “Riverdale” has done nothing to correct the misinformation surrounding its cast.

In a recent roundtable discussion of the upcoming series, two of the three lead roles confirmed that they aren’t Latinas

The revelation came during this week’s New York Comic Con when two of the show’s actresses Madeleine Mantock and Sarah Jeffery set to portray the Latinx charmed ones acknowledged that they were actually Latina at all.

“Playing the Afro-Latina character I think for me I’m just trying to be open,” Mantock shared. “I’m open with the writers and trying to be respectful because I’m Afro-Caribbean. I’m not actually Afro-Latina and I want to make that inquiry because Melanie [Diaz] is actually the only person in her real life who is Latina.”

Mantock did go on to say that she learned Spanish to prepare for this role. Additionally, Jeffrey added, “Yeah, I know that we are representing the Latina community. I actually am African-American. I’m not Latina, which is a common misconception.”

Of course, we’re excited any time we get to see women of color achieve success, particularly in Hollywood when they’re so underrepresented. Black, Asian, disabled, Latinam, and LGBTQ women have been underrepresented and ignored in mainstream television and film for so long that any time we get to see just one cast in a role it feels like we’ve finally come across an oasis. Still, the latest reveals around the cast’s ethnicities do highlight the very real fact that in their effort to promote a reboot, the CW used colorism and exploitation to spark our excitement and interest.

The biggest issue with this “misconception” is that the television network responsible for the reboot, CW, has not bothered to correct it.

The biggest source of hype for the new reboot has been the reports of it’s Latina representation. Not correcting the error outright is equal to endorsing it as true. Let’s not forget that the CW has largely benefited from the false claims of representation which in my opinion is just plain shady. Our Latin American community has long struggled with the Anti-Black nature of its culture and its one that has long been hawked and perpetuated by Hollywood which has only in recent years begun to cast women who don’t look like Salma Hayek or Penelope Cruz as Latinas. (In the entertainment sphere, Afro-Latinas just barely squeak by with representation. Just look at the range of Black Latinas who have actually been able to play the part of Latinas on screen and you’ll see that even then Hollywood prefers its Black girls to be as light skinned and straight haired as possible.) So, as you can imagine, having a series that said that not one, but two Afro-Latinas were set to take on iconic roles in a TV reboot was a pretty big deal for us. It made us believe that we were one step forward towards inclusion. Now, knowing that these roles will be played by non-Latinas doesn’t just feel like Afro-Latinas have been left out on a major opportunity but it also feels a bit like a threat to the future of representation on screen.

Ultimately, it isn’t the fault of the actresses mistakenly playing these Afro-Latina sisters.

Old Twitter interactions between the actresses and fans have shown that both Madeleine Mantock and Sarah Jeffery have disputed reports that they are Latina. Jeffrey also cleared up claims that she is Latina during a press roundtable in which she identified herself as African-American and her mother as Indigenous Canadian. Nope, the blame falls entirely on the CW network team and “Charmed” showrunners who promoted the series by boasting of its Latinx characters and never once explaining that two out of its three protagonists were not Latinx in the first place. In fact, a superficial google search into the new series will reveal a mass of media coverage that praises the show’s Latinx casting while also featuring interviews with the show’s producers and creators. 

Besides the blatant issue with casting, writers and show creators are rooting the Charmed ones magic in European traditions. Instead of exploring the vast mystical world of Brujeria, they have chosen to ignore it. Instead, they have forced European folklore— like the use of the triquetra as their symbol of power into their narrative. These Celtic traditions don’t align with the “Latina” series that the CW claims they’re making. These inconsistencies seem to add up to a television network attempting to capitalize on our culture and demographic.

Instead of hiring non-Latinx to tell our stories, we need people from our communities representing us. Hiring Latinx talent in front of and behind the camera is an absolute necessity. Simply put, media that attempts to represent us without us has lost its charm.


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Cameron Diaz Talks About That Traumatic Scene From ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ That Gave Us All Our First Taste Of Second Hand Embarrassment

Entertainment

Cameron Diaz Talks About That Traumatic Scene From ‘My Best Friend’s Wedding’ That Gave Us All Our First Taste Of Second Hand Embarrassment

Everybody’s favorite 90s romantic comedy, “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” is packed with various moments of hilarious victories that make the movie so lovable. The 1997 film stars Julia Roberts as a 27-year-old Julianne Potter who flies to Chicago to break up her best friend (Dermot Mulroney’s) marriage to 20-year-old Kimmy (played by Cameron Diaz). It’s filled with meddling moments and mini-disasters including one iconic scene made of a particular sort of awkwardness.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Diaz spoke about the one scene that prompted everyone to steer clear of karaoke bars.

My Best Friend’s Wedding/ TriStar Pictures

In one of the film’s most beloved scenes, Cameron Diaz’s Kimmy stands before a packed karaoke bar at the urging of Julianne and sputters and cries her way through Dionne Warwick’s “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.” The scene is awkwardly heavy, with Diaz’s blotchy, clammy, pink face tearing apart every note and Julia Robert’s conniving character’s satisfied smirk. The patrons in the bar sit awkwardly still in their seats as they watch the trainwreck and experience the ultimate form of secondhand embarrassment. Then suddenly, through Kimmy’s show of good sportsmanship, the scene turns around.

The patrons join in on the song, singing, and clapping. Julianne is noticeably dumbfounded by her failed scheme. No doubt, the entire experience was humiliating for everyone watching (audience included) but there’s also no denying that the proper people have been charmed, even us the viewers who were supposed to be rooting for Julianne, can’t help but have a change of heart over the girl who has a father worth billions.

That’s just good acting. Or, so we thought.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly for its latest reunion special, Diaz explained that the film was far more real than we might have guessed.

During the interview that commemorated the film which is now over twenty years old, Diaz admitted that the idea of standing up in front of the bar and singing actually, truly made her miserable.

“I was terrified to do that scene, for real,” Diaz, who is of Cuban descent admitted. “I allowed the true terror of singing in front of people to be alive in me. I wanted to run and hide, and Dermot kept me there. He said, “You can do it, you can do it.” In the scene I’m just staring at him the whole time because he’s looking at me like, “You’re okay. You’re not gonna die.” And I was like, “But I’m dying.”


Read: Actress Dayanara Torres Encourages Fans To Seek A Doctor’s Opinion When Something “Feels Funny” After Learning She Has Cancer

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20 Crazy Facts About “Spy Kids” You Didn’t Notice In The Movie

Entertainment

20 Crazy Facts About “Spy Kids” You Didn’t Notice In The Movie

In 2001, Latino kids across the globe were met with a rare treasure never to be seen. A Latino spy family featuring two kids with top-secret espionage badges on the big screen. The heroic movie “Spy Kids” launched a mega movie franchise as well as the imaginations of Latino kids.

Written and directed by Robert Rodriguez, “Spy Kids” was an epic espionage movie packed full of wonderment, surprise, gadgets oh yeah and Antonio Banderas, Carla Gugino and new faces Alexa PenaVega and Daryl Sabara.

Check out these 20 things you never knew about your favorite movie from 2001!

1. Robert Rodriguez, the director, used ideas from his childhood for his characters.

Dimension Films

Rodriguez had drawn a picture of men with thumbs for heads, arms, and legs as a child. The thumb people made an appearance as the clumsy robots known as the Thums Thumbs.

2. Rodriguez’s family made appearances in special ways.

Dimension Films

As an homage to his family members, Rodriguez named the characters of Gregorio, Carmen, and Juni after them.

3. George Clooney wore pajama pants during his appearance

Dimension Films

Robert Rodriguez was the director behind the movie and had worked with Clooney before. He showed up as a one-man crew and shot the Clooney scene himself. The scene was shot from the waist up since Clooney was still wearing his pijama.

4. Selena Gomez made her debut in the franchise.

Dimension Films

The “Wolves” singer made her film debut as “Waterpark Girl” In the 3rd movie.

5. Gregorio Cortez was named after a thief.

Instagram / barrio2barrio

In real life, Gregorio Cortez is the name of a famous Texan thief from the early 90s.

6. IRL, Carla Gugino was too young to be an adult mom to her kids in the movie.

Dimension Films

In reality, Gugino is only  17 years older than Alexa PenaVega, who plays her oldest child Carmen.

7. Carla almost didn’t accept the role because of her age.

Dimension Films

At 29 years old during the time of filming, Carla felt she was too young to have kids that were 10 and 12 years old. But Rodriguez convinced her by sharing that his own mother had had him and all of his siblings by the time she was thirty. 

8. Production was super speedy.

Dimension Films

The movie was shot over a period of 10 weeks.

9. It held box office for almost as long.

Dimension Films

The movie stayed at number 1 for three straight whole weeks in the United States bod office charts.

10. Carla Gugino wasn’t even supposed to be here.

Dimension Films

Kelly Preston had been offered the role of Ingrid Cortez, but when she gave birth, Carla was offered the role. 

11. Which means the movie didn’t dodge blackface.

Dimension Films

Kelly Preston is white and Carla Gugino is Italian AKA not Latina.

12. Angie Harmon almost got the role of Ingrid.

Dimension Films

Harmon is also not Latina. She’s Greek and German/Irish. Makes you think someone was determined to cast a white mother eh? Like where was Salma Hayek?? OR, a Brown casting director?

13. The kids helped pick Gugino as Ingrid.

Dimension Films

Rodriguez wanted to make sure the mother looked like the kids and Gugino’s dye job.

14. That’s not San Diablo.

Dimension Films

In the notorious arriel shot that’s not San Diablo it’s a view of Santiago de Chile! 

15. Rodriguez edited the movie in a “garage.”

Dimension Films

Rodriguez’s garage is really an elaborate editing studio in his home.

16. Daryl Sabara and Alexa Vega own this film

Dimension Films

They’re the only actors to appear in all four films of the franchise.

17. Carmen has such a Latina tame.

Dimension Films

According to the credits and a scene where she uses it as a password Carmen Elizabeth Juanita Costa-Brava Cortez.

18. The location has a fun oxymoron.

Dimension Films

San Diablo is a Spanish oxymoron meaning Holy Devil or Sainted Devil.

19. The initials of the Organization of Super Spies is copy pasted.

Dimension Films

The Organization of Super Spies or O.S.S. has the exact same initials as the Office of Strategic Services,. That’s the version of the WWII-era C.I.A.

20. Rodriguez has a trademark and a thing for knives.

Dimension Films

Rodriguez’s film’s featuring Danny Trejo usually have his characters named after a knife. In Spy Kids he plays Isador “Machete” Cortez.


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