Monday, June 02, 2008

Same story, different day.

Update on the Dirty Girls Social Club Movie, and Lessons in Latinidad Real for Hollywood - Part One, by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, via Racialicious.

If you can't watch the video, Alisa talks about the difficulty of getting her bestselling book, The Dirty Girls Social Club, made into a movie. To sum up the situation, the white, non-Hispanic males who run every major movie studio don't think the six educated women in the novel are real Latinas. Because they're not "street". Plus, there isn't an A-list actress attached to the film yet. Why? Because the A-list Latina actresses have been advised by their management teams--more white males--not to play Latina roles. Nice.

None of this surprises me at all. However, every time I hear a story like this, whether in person or in print or online, the women telling the stories are usually shocked and hurt. These women have worked hard, played by the rules, paid their dues, achieved above and beyond their peers in their field, proved their talent, worth and potential. And still they get shot down. Every time. Just like they did at the end of my book. So weird that Alisa mentioned WWII movie Schindler's List, too. Hmm. Maybe I have The Shine. Either that or I can see the blatant, continual racism and sexism that persists in Hollywood.

I can't turn my head without seeing a story about how the success of Sex and the City: The Movie has proved that women can open big-budget films. Quoi? I didn't hear the same clamoring over Indiana Jones and the Senior Citizen proving that old white guys can still open action films. I actually had to hear Tattoo on Big Boy in the Morning whining about how terrible Sex and the City was--even though he went to see a completely different movie this weekend--because women who were over the age of 40 and/or overweight went to see the movie in groups and then talked about it. Also, Tattoo didn't like that the movie starred four "old" women. Thankfully Liz and Big Boy totally called him out on his insanity, considering Tattoo very recently had LAP-BAND surgery to combat the 280+ pounds of fat on his own body.

Back to Dirty Girls. I love this book so much that it has been my signature gift to all of my closest friends, who have also loved it. It clearly has an audience in multiple countries. Yet, the movie can't get made because the characters aren't "real Latinas", "we don't get the whole Latino thing", and "nobody would want to see the fat girl get the guy", even though about 15% of the US population is Hispanic, and (allegedly) approximately 62 percent of female Americans are considered overweight.

So what kind of woman is acceptable for mass consumption? Last Comic Standing's Esther Ku. I knew I wasn't the only one who didn't like her.

"Chopsticks"! "Ching chong"! Even though she's Korean. Ha! "I don't want to marry an Asian guy; I like regular people." The hilarity!




Tobes said...

After watching that you tube video at the beginning, I just want to cry in frustration. ARGH.

I am officially going into netflix, moving up Bordertown and ordering "Dirty Girls Social Club" book on amazon TODAY. IN PROTEST.

I didn't catch the LCS episode with Esther Ku, and I'm really glad I missed it. Maybe I can keep missing the episodes until she gets booted from the competition :)

PS: I reviewed SATC. When you see it, come by and comment. As a fan, I'm dying to know what you think :)

Matthew said...

Very good acceptance speech by nominee Obama. Did you hear it?
See also:

Bianca Reagan said...

Argh, indeed, tobes. When you finish reading the book, you should tell me what you think. I like reading your opinions.

I did watch the speech, matthew. I will take a looky-loo over there now.

Anonymous said...

That's really upsetting that Hollywood thinks that women are supposed to be nothing more than sex objects. I went to see Sex & the City, and it pissed my off the way they portrayed all your typical stereotypes within the movie. And even before the movie started, I watched a preview for a movie called "The Women" which was basically about a group of 4 white women where one of their husbands was cheating on her with a Latina (Eva Mendes) perfume girl. Here's the link to the IMDB info on it:

If you could find the trailer (I searched for a bit but couldn't find it), watch.

Why can't Latinas get away from this stigma considering there are some incredible Latina women out there who are worth more then just their looks and sexuality?