Whitewashing has always been a problem in Hollywood, and unfortunately, it looks like there’s some filmmakers who still haven’t learned their lesson.
Case in point: The Curse of La Llorona, a horror film set to come out next year.
Based on the story of La Llorona, or “The Weeping Woman” from Aztec culture in Mexico, the film features the eponymous character as a horrifying spirit who takes child sacrifices. Twitter user @philsposts explained in a thread the tale of La Llorona in the original stories, which were often used as bedtime stories for Latinx children, as pointed out by @besitoshes on Twitter.
also known as “The Weeping Woman”, La Llorona originated in Mexico, from way back when the Aztec race ruled or still existed, really. She is believed to be the goddess Chihuacóatl, who takes child sacrifices and flips boat who come too close to her.
— ig | philsposts (@PhilsPosts) October 18, 2018
y’all no joke la llorona stories used to keep me up at night pic.twitter.com/cbpObJdVRl
— anna (@besitoshes) October 17, 2018
But though so many people are familiar with the story of La Llorona, there’s been pushback from Latinx Twitter for apparent whitewashing evident in the trailer. One of the main qualms regards lead actress Linda Cardellini, who is of European, non-Hispanic descent, playing a character called Anna Garcia, suggesting that the film might be trying to pass Cardellini off as Latinx. The film also seems to be told through the lens of Cardellini’s character, which is problematic considering they are appropriating a part of Latinx culture to focus on a white woman’s story.
In Curse of La Llorona the main character is named Anna Garcia, but is played by...Linda Cardellini?? An Irish-Italian woman. pic.twitter.com/EqItb7AftB
— Delondra Williams (@delondra_w) October 18, 2018
You would think they’d be smart by paying attention to the success of Coco and it’s Mexican cast, they dropped the ball on this one lolol https://t.co/Yll3OKlrlM
— betty (@grenudaa_) October 18, 2018
People also had issues with the mispronunciation of Spanish words and phrases in the film.
After she said “la llorana” they way she did, I knew this movie was going to do no justice to one of the most terrifying stories of my childhood. It’s a no from me. pic.twitter.com/aWPUif5L6c
— C L A U D I A (@crodrgz__) October 18, 2018
Of course, trailers don’t always tell the whole story, but it’s worthwhile to look into the criticisms that The Curse of La Llorona is facing. It’ll be interesting to see if anybody involved in the making of the film, especially Cardellini and director James Wan will respond to the backlash.