Opinion: Latino should have played lead in 'Argo'
Ben Affleck plays the lead role of Tony Mendez in "Argo," which he also directed.
January 9th, 2013
06:33 PM ET

Opinion: Latino should have played lead in 'Argo'

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette.

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor

San Diego, California (CNN) - The upcoming Oscars are no stranger to causes or controversy. And this year, there is a strong dose of both surrounding the film "Argo" - and its star and director, Ben Affleck.

This controversy bubbled up when the buzz started that Affleck could get an Academy Award nomination for best director when the announcements are made Thursday.

"Argo" tells how an ingenious and daring CIA agent helped orchestrate the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980. In November 1979, about 300 Islamic students stormed the U.S. Embassy and 66 Americans were taken hostage. But six U.S. diplomats escaped and were hidden at the Canadian Embassy by the Canadian ambassador and his wife.

The CIA agent - Antonio "Tony" Mendez, played by Affleck - successfully led the mission to evacuate the Americans, which involved Mendez and his associates posing as a Canadian film crew that was eager to make a movie in Iran.

The real Tony Mendez was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor, and other honors, for leading the rescue. He later wrote a memoir, detailing the events in Tehran

Read Ruben Navarrette Jr's full column
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. lampen selber machen anleitung

    Thanks , I have just been looking for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I've came upon so far. But, what about the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the source? lampen selber machen anleitung http://tiny.cc/wqlkyw

    June 12, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jorge

    Actually, there's nothing redeemingly Latino about Mendez. He seemed to take pride in the fact that he never bothered to learn Spanish and has claimed that he is not Hispanic in any way, kind of like Ted Williams, the baseball hall of famer who kept his Latina mother hidden away in the kitchen so as not to 'hurt' his career. There is nothing Hispanic about that kind of mendacity.

    January 16, 2013 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Struve

    Yea sure, a black latino with no Spanish heritage or else they might call him part Anglo.

    January 11, 2013 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. DH

    Thanks Ruben. You are right. Let's stop this diversity, PC pandering right now. Whites play whites, blacks play blacks latinos play latinos. Otherwise, how can a story be told effectively without being true to the real story. I do see a problem down the road trying to find a half and half actor to play obama.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. currywurst

    Should've been played by carlos estevez err... i mean charlie sheen

    January 10, 2013 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |