John Leguizamo’s Take on the New Mario Bros. Movie

John Leguizamo Blasts Super Mario Bros. Animated Movie Cast for Lack of  Diversity

credit: Super Mario Bros.

It feels as though someone needs to remind John Leguizamo that having something to say about representation usually helps when you have a dog in the fight and aren’t just attempting to be an ally. If anyone is guessing why this is important, one has to remember that John isn’t Italian, and neither was his costar in the 1993 movie Super Mario Bros. Adding his name to the list of those who have already spoken up about the dubious casting of Chris Pratt for the role of Mario in the upcoming animated movie, John has managed to make it clear that he thinks this is a move backward in terms of representation. There’s no doubt that many people are likely to think about the fact that various voice roles that were taken by Caucasian actors, who were voicing characters from other cultures, have been heavily frowned upon for a while. Calls of racism, appropriation, and anything else that will stick when it’s flung about have been making it a trend for people to call out those who are taking on roles that are somehow seen as wrong for anyone but people of color. The funny thing about this is the double standard that comes when people of color are allowed to accept roles that are traditionally taken by Caucasians because, well, the character is Caucasian. The point of this is that it shouldn’t matter who’s taking the role so long as they can act. 

The Mario Movie Will Be Better Than the Original, Even with Chris Pratt |  TechRaptor

credit: Super Mario Bros.

Getting bent out of shape over a voice role is a little ridiculous.

Seriously, people of all colors have been taking on various voice roles over the years, and up until several years back, no one was batting an eye. Then talk of cultural appropriation arose, and things started going to hell simply because people decided to be offended about everything. It feels beyond silly to get upset over voice roles, especially since some of the greatest characters in animated history have been created by those who don’t belong to the culture that such characters have been based. Remember Kung Fu Panda? How about How to Train Your Dragon? It’s strange, no one is griping about those movies, and no one appears to be too worried that Jack Black is taking on the role of Bowser or that Keegan-Michael Key will be portraying a white-skinned character named Toad. The type of things that people feel the need to gripe about makes it clear that some people have a little too much free time.  

Representation in Hollywood is actually not a huge issue at this time unless one decides to engage in a victim mentality. 

Apparently, Hollywood has a serious diversity issue in the eyes of those who have benefited from it the most, you know, a diverse crowd of people who have risen to the top over the years and still want to shout about it. Like it or not, Hollywood has become a diverse place where people from different races and cultures have managed to find success and have also managed to find roles that have kept them moving up the ladder, so to speak. Folks like Leguizamo, who feel the need to call out a lack of diversity, tend to show that they either have severe tunnel vision or are worried that Caucasians still have too much influence in the film industry. The unfortunate fact for those folks is that there are plenty of diverse casts out there at the moment, and there have been for a while. As for the lead roles and a lack of prominent leaders who are POC, one has to remember that Hollywood is a business, and there is still such a thing as merit when it comes to acting. In other words, if you can act, it doesn’t matter what color or culture you are. If you can’t, then don’t cry about not getting the role. 

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

credit: Super Mario Bros.

It’s an animated movie, for crying out loud. 

The fact that Leguizamo claims that he was approached by fans who ‘loved’ the original movie feels like a giant leap of faith that should have a lot of people looking before they leap since the first movie was not the masterpiece that John appears to think it was. He’s a funny guy and not a bad actor, but the first movie was, with all due respect, a train wreck that had very little to do with the game it was based upon from a visual perspective. One thing that the new animated movie has going for it is that it actually looks like the video game, meaning that the voice acting might not be perfect, but the look of it is great enough, at least. 

John Leguizamo might need to sit down and have a Snickers. 

At the end of the day, Hollywood has come a long way when it comes to representation, but somehow, the millionaires, no matter what skin color they have or culture they’re from, appear to have a bone to pick when things aren’t going the way they think they should. Some trends kind of need to die out quicker than others, but for now, maybe John and a lot of others who see this as an issue should have a Snickers and kickback because, quite honestly, this isn’t a huge issue. 

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