The Chican@ satirical website Pocho.com posted a funny and interesting “article” yesterday that is critical of the so called “hispanic/latino” media. Like most satire, it’s funny because it’s true. Here’s a sample:
“I feel like this project is important not only to me, and the rest of the cast, for professional and personal reasons. It’s the first time that we — are a bunch of people who are not Mexican-American but capitalize on pretending to be — have the chance to tell the authentic Mexican-American story,” said Cuban-American actress Eva Mendes, who is starring in the film as United Farm Worker co-founder Dolores Huerta. (She beat out Rosario Dawson for the role.”
The fact is that most major U.S. films about Mexican Americans have rarely ever cast Mexican Americans for the leading roles, i.e. Selena (J-Lo–Puerto Rican) and Mi Familia (various non Mex-Am actors playing a Mex family).
I still remember the controversy over J-Lo playing Selena Quintanilla–the slain Tejana singer, especially after the film producer(s) announced that they were going to host a series of auditions for the role. Young Mexican American ladies flocked to these farcical auditions, only to be disappointed after it was announced that the Puerto Rican actress was chosen for the role. I understand the need for a talented person to play the part, but really, there were no qualified Chicana/Mexicana actresses available? And, speaking of talent, J-Lo?! Enough said.
In any case, the point is that even though Chicano/Mexicanos comprise the overwhelming majority of so-called “hispanics/latinos,” we are grossly underrepresented in the U.S. media. This is something that Chican@s have discussed over lunch at the taqueria and in academia for a long time. Unfortunately, with the rise of non-Mexican-American-dominated “Latino” media, Chicano/Mexicano actor/actess representation on TV and film will continue to be virtually nonexistent.