Black and white in the movies

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As The Walt Disney Co. kicks off production of The Frog Princess, the first animated film featuring a black princess, Mexican actor Diego Luna (Y tu mamá también, Nicotina) is ready for his next big role playing… Michael Jackson… yep, that Michael Jackson.

The movie is Mister Lonely by California-born Harmony Korine, and though not many details have been disclosed yet, it looks like an interesting project. Also starring is German acting monster Werner Herzog and Brooklyn celebrity magician David Blaine.

I wonder how Luna will be transformed from a black youth into a whiter shade of pale. Cinematic magic? or Blaine’s latest trick?

Portland’s ‘Cinco de Mayhem’

It is no secret that Mexicans are passionate about wrestling, boxing and any other sport that involves punching one another in one way or another. But don’t you dare offend our patriotic symbols because you will be up to trouble.

Take a current brawl in Portland, where the name of an upcoming martial-arts event has raised the ire of Oregon’s Mexican community. “Cinco de Mayhem” turned out to be too much to bear for a group of Hispanic leaders in Salem, who are calling for a name change, an apology and –while they’re at it– a crash course in diversity.

Mind you, I am not a wrestling fan and I don’t even know who the organizers of Cinco de Mayhem are, but to call for them to apologize because they’re offending one of Mexico’s “most sacred holiday” is pushing the “Latino pride” envelope a bit too far.

I wonder how many of the non-Mexican Hispanic community leaders in Oregon can tell you know what May 5 commemorates. Regardless, I would be curious to see what happens on May 5 when “Cinco de Mayhem” is set to be held: would the Mexicans set their TV sets to watch the History Channel?

What’s eating David Massry

What is it with Ritmo Latino and Latin pop divas?

One year after the Latin music retailer accused Shakira of dissing Hispanic fans in favor of the Anglo world, it is snapping J-Lo with the same accusation. This week, while the Bronx diva visited the neighborhood to promote her new Spanish-language album, Cómo Ama una Mujer Ritmo Latino announced it was banning it from its 50 stores nationwide. The reason? “We have supported her from the beginning. Now we’re told by her record company she will only visit Anglo retail outlets,” said Ritmo Latino CEO David Massry.

I am sure Mr. Massry has reasons to believe there is an Anglo conspiracy to take Shakira and JLo from their authentic “Hispanic” fans (whatever that means). But instead of boycotting Latino singers, and getting all pissed off at everybody, he should be fighting back by taking some gringo talent and promote it in his stores nationwide: We all know Britney and Michael Jackson can use a little marketing push … even if it’s in a chain of Latin music stores. You never know