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Spanish actor Javier Bardem educates leftists annoyed that he played Desi Arnaz, a Cuban: 'That’s what I do for a living — try to be people that I’m not'

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Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images (left); Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images (right)

Seems the woke mob has found its latest victim in the battle to stamp out anything that doesn't fit its definition of acceptable: Acclaimed Academy Award-winning actor Javier Bardem.

What's the left's problem this time?

In short, there was criticism that Bardem accepted the role of Desi Arnaz in the Aaron Sorkin biopic "Being the Ricardos" opposite Nicole Kidman, who plays Lucille Ball.

Bardem is from Spain, you see. And Desi Arnaz — who played Ricky Ricardo in the iconic TV series "I Love Lucy" — was from Cuba.

Uh oh. Seems people of color can violate cultural appropriation rules, too.

Observers "voiced concern that Bardem isn’t Cuban like Arnaz was and said the role should go to an actor from Latin America," the Hollywood Reporter pointed out.

In fact, Laura Bradley — entertainment reporter for the Daily Beast — ripped Bardem's casting in her piece, "'Being the Ricardos' Has Got Some ’Splaining to Do About Javier Bardem," which is subtitled, "Aaron Sorkin’s choice to cast a Spanish actor as the Cuban legend has been controversial from the start — and Bardem’s performance does little to rebut the naysayers."

"When I first saw that Javier Bardem had been cast as Desi Arnaz in Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos, I groaned. When I heard Bardem’s 'Cuban' accent in the trailer (on the couple of words he got to speak), I had to laugh," Bradley wrote. "And when I finally saw him in the movie, I felt my late abuelo’s favorite refrain rattling around deep in my soul: ¡Qué barbaridad!"

What did Bardem have to say?

52-year-old Bardem — best known for his hitman role in "No Country for Old Men" — had a pointed response in regard to criticism that a Latin American should have been cast instead of him.

“I’m an actor, and that’s what I do for a living: try to be people that I’m not,” Bardem told the Reporter. “What do we do with Marlon Brando playing Vito Corleone? What do we do with Margaret Thatcher played by Meryl Streep? Daniel Day-Lewis playing Lincoln? Why does this conversation happen with people with accents?"

He added to the magazine, "You have your accent. That’s where you belong. That’s tricky. Where is that conversation with English-speaking people doing things like 'The Last Duel,' where they were supposed to be French people in the Middle Ages? That’s fine. But me, with my Spanish accent, being Cuban? What I mean is, if we want to open the can of worms, let’s open it for everyone. The role came to me, and one thing that I know for sure is that I’m going to give everything that I have.”

Bardem offered more pushback, noting to the Reporter that "we should all start not allowing anybody to play Hamlet unless they were born in Denmark."

To be fair, the magazine added that a day after his interview, Bardem emailed the reporter and seemed to temper his previous comments: "I do recognize that there are many underrepresented voices and stories that need to be told, and we should collectively do better to provide access and opportunities for more American Latino stories and storytellers."

What did observers have to say?

A couple of folks responding to the Daily Beast's tweet about Bradley's story weren't taking the criticism, either:

  • "Remember when the left used to realize that acting involves, ya know, ACTING, and you don't have to actually BE the person you're portraying?" one commenter wrote. "I guarantee the left would sling poo at Hillary Swank for doing Boys Don't Cry if it came out in 2021."
  • "He won an Academy Award playing a Mexican. Who gives a f. He played a Mexican drug lord in 'Collateral.' ... It called f’n acting," another commenter said.

(H/T: The Daily Wire)

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