‘It’s nothing like a blackface’: West Wing creator defends Spanish star’s choice as Cuban in new film


‘It doesn’t look like a blackface in any way’: West Wing creator defends choice of Spanish star as Cuban in new film – claiming idea that only someone from their native country could play the role is the “mother of all empty gestures”

  • Aaron Sorkin defended the cast of Javier Bardem in the new movie Being the Ricardos
  • The screenwriter said it was “heartbreaking” to see actors “fall apart”
  • Blackface is ‘demeaning’, but a Spaniard playing a Cuban is not, Sorkin says
  • Being the Ricardos is a biopic about the stars of the 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy










The West Wing creator has argued over identity politics while defending his decision to choose a Spanish actor as a Cuban character in the new film Being the Ricardos.

Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter behind Hollywood blockbusters such as The Social Network (2010) and Steve Jobs (2015), criticized the tendency of actors to limit themselves to roles that reflect their real selves – for example, gay actors not playing only homosexual characters.

Mr Sorkin, 60, said in an interview with Sunday Times Culture magazine: “It is heartbreaking and a little scary to see members of the arts community re-isolate.”

Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem, originally from Gran Canaria, Spain, stars as Cuban-born Desi Arnaz in the new movie Meeting the Ricardos, available to stream on Amazon Prime Video starting Tuesday, December 21.

Mr Sorkin continued, “Spanish and Cuban are not acceptable. If I put you in a scene and said, ‘It’s cold, you can’t feel your face.’ It’s exploitable. But if I said, ‘Be Cuban.’ It is not achievable.

Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who wrote West Wing and the screenplay for the new movie Meeting the Ricardos, has embarked on the culture war in an interview with Sunday Times Culture magazine to defend his decision to choose a Spanish actor as his Cuban character. .

Javier Bardem, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in No Country for Old Men, plays a Cuban television icon in new film Meet the Ricardos

Desi Arnaz fled Cuba for Miami after the Cuban Revolution of 1933, becoming a popular actor on the 1950s American sitcom, I Love Lucy.

Javier Bardem, from Gran Canaria, Spain (left) plays 1950s Cuba-born sitcom star Desi Arnaz (right) in the new film Meet the Ricardos, a biographical photo about the turbulent romance between the two actors Principal of longtime American sitcom I Love Lucy (1951-57)

Nicole Kidman stars alongside Javier Bardem in Meeting the Ricardos, playing Lucille Ball in the biopic about the romance that blossomed between the two lead actors on iconic 1950s American sitcom I Love Lucy

Nicole Kidman stars alongside Javier Bardem in Meeting the Ricardos, playing Lucille Ball in the biopic about the romance that blossomed between the two lead actors on iconic 1950s American sitcom I Love Lucy

Flashback: Despite their divorce, in which she called their marriage a

Flashback: Despite their divorce, in which she called their marriage a “nightmare,” Lucy and Desi remained publicly friendly for the rest of her life; they are photographed while they are married

He said, “The names are not exploitable. Homosexuals and straight people are not playable. You can act like you’re attracted to someone, but you can’t act gay or straight.

“So this idea that only gay actors should play gay characters?” That only a Cuban actor should play Desi? Honestly, I think this is the mother of all empty gestures and a bad idea.

Meet the Ricardos, which also stars Nicole Kidman, is a biographical drama about the relationship between the two lead actors in I Love Lucy, an American sitcom that aired from 1951 to 1957.

Sorkin compared his decision to choose a Spanish actor as Cuban with the “demeaning” practice of blackface, saying the latter makes “ridiculous cartoon cartoons with people.”

“To have an actor born in Spain as a character born in Cuba was not humiliating,” he said.

The award-winning screenwriter continued, “We know Mickey Rooney with the silly piece in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and that makeup, doing a silly Japanese, we know it’s humiliating. It’s not, I felt.

The real Desi Arnaz, who had an eventful marriage to Lucille that ended in divorce, pictured in 1954 while airing I Love Lucy

The real Desi Arnaz, who had an eventful marriage to Lucille that ended in divorce, pictured in 1954 while airing I Love Lucy

Javier Bardem has also weighed in on the controversy, saying it was unfair for him to be targeted when actors from English-speaking countries regularly play characters from other English-speaking countries without any hindsight.

The 52-year-old from Gran Canaria told The Hollywood Reporter: “What do we do with Marlon Brando playing Vito Corleone? What do we do with Margaret Thatcher as Meryl Streep? Daniel Day-Lewis playing Lincoln? Why this conversation has it takes place with people with accents? ”

He continued, “What I mean is if we want to open the box of worms, let’s open it for everyone. The role came to me, and one thing I’m sure of is that I will give all I have.


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