Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hispanic Actor: Don't call me Latino

Andy Garcia: Don't Call Me a Latino Actor

Andy Garcia, otherwise known as the quintessential old-school Cuban American, now says that when it comes to his career, he does not want to be identified as a Latino.

In an interview with Agencia EFE promoting his new movie, Pink Panther 2, the star explains his position. "The whole world knows that I love my culture and I've always said that I am Cuban, but I don't consider myself a Latino actor, nor do I want people to consider me or classify me in that way. One should classify all actors as equals."

Using an all-too-familiar argument, Garcia says that to identify him as a Latino actor is to uphold a double standard. "They don't say about Dustin Hoffman: he's a great Jewish American actor. I don't think that heritage has anything to do with acting, in realilty we are all actors. In my case I am an actor, American, with a Cuban heritage that gives me a sensibility or point of view that others probably don't have."

Hmm...sounds like Garcia is trying to have his identity politics cake and eat it, too. We see where his all-too-familiar thought process is headed, but who's to say that identifying an actor as Latino or otherwise is reinforcing some sort of inequality? Does the same criteria apply to other professions outside of acting?

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