Lifetime cast Catherine Zeta-Jones a Welsh actress to portray a real-life Colombian drug lord, Griselda Blanco, for their made for TV movie called “Cocaine Godmother” which is causing an uproar in the Latin community.
You may not be familiar with the story of Blanco, but she was one of the most notable figures of the Medellin Cartel in the 70’s and 80’s and helped start the Miami-based cocaine trade. At the age of 69, in 2012 Blanco was killed by in Medellin by someone driving a motorbike according to reports; “the middle-aged gunman climbed off the back of a motorbike outside the shop, entered, pulled out a gun, and shot Blanco twice in the head before calmly walking back to his bike and disappearing into the city.”
The Lifetime film premiered this past weekend and told the story of Blanco’s life story with Zeta-Jones in the starring role.
Even before the premiere people began to express the anger of the whitewashing.
Um, Sofia Vergara is Colombian and the highest paid TV actor. If not her, there are bankable Latina actors like Salma Hayek & Jennifer Lopez. Whitewashing the role with Catherine Zeta-Jones makes no sense. https://t.co/d2okZkWJDt
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) January 20, 2018
Now we need to talk about her playing Colombian “drug lord” Griselda Blanco. pic.twitter.com/AL7YKUlb6j
— Gabe Gonzalez (@gaybonez) January 20, 2018
A white woman playing Griselda Blanco? pic.twitter.com/4sN7U0XuqI
— ✨Mamacita✨ (@AminaJACK) January 21, 2018
— PragmaticObotsUnite (@PragObots) January 19, 2018
Total #Whitewash. #GriseldaBlanco should’ve been portrayed by a Latina: the #CocaineGodmother’s Colombian. This could’ve been an actor’s Selena moment (referring to @JLo’s phenomenal breakout performance). We’re grossly underrepresented both in front of & behind the camera. Wack. https://t.co/QZO0FoIpzW
— Raquel Cepeda (@RaquelCepeda) January 15, 2018
Fans who are looking for a more authentic Blanco story can, of course, may be in luck if HBO ever goes ahead with their own Blanco project which they announced in 2016 and is supposed to star Jennifer Lopez. In the meantime, current reaction to the Lifetime movie is that it was too rushed to enjoy and that people would be better off watching documentaries because her life is a lot to cover in a 2-hour made for tv movie.
In the meantime did you catch Lifetime’s “Cocaine Godmother“? Did you like it, were you expecting more? Let us know in the comments below.