#DeEscalateDontKill

Casting of Catherine Zeta-Jones as Colombian Drug Lord Causes Uproar

Casting of Catherine Zeta-Jones as Colombian Drug Lord Causes Uproar

Welsh actress to play Griselda Blanco in The Godmother.

Published October 16, 2014

Looks like Hollywood has stepped in it again. The internet is in an uproar over the casting of Catherine Zeta-Jones as Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco. The Welsh-born actress has been favored over a number of Latina stars — Salma Hayek and Eva Longoria are just two who come to mind — to portray the ruthless South American cartel leader.

“I’m sorry but what part of this casting makes any kind of sense? Come on Hollywood. Are There NO LATIN actresses???” actress Yolanda Ross tweeted in reaction to the news, with many others echoing her outrage.

The anger over Zeta-Jones likely has as much to do with the fact that portraying Griselda Blanco is a role any Latina actress would kill for. She was one of Miami’s chief cocaine traffickers in the 1970s and 80s and built an empire so large, it’s said she inspired the character of Tony Montana from Scarface and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Gotham character, Fish Mooney. She even played mentor to Pablo Escobar. Law enforcement estimates Blanco ran a billion-dollar business.

Blanco died at age 69 in 2012, when she was gunned down by an assassin on a motorcycle in Medellin, Colombia. 

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 (Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for AFI)

Written by Evelyn Diaz

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