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Meryl Streep faces backlash for playing a secret Latina character in her new film The Laundromat


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While Meryl Streep may very well add to her record 21 Oscar nominations for her performance in The Laundromat, her secret role in the film has angered some fans.

The 70 year old actress plays Ellen Martin in the new film from Steven Soderbergh, but as fans discovered during the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and its North American premiere at TIFF this week, she plays a secret Latina character as well.

Several critics and fans have started calling out the mystery role, with Vanity Fair calling the second role a, ‘a bizarre and rather galling unforced error, especially in an era of heightened consciousness about representation and appropriation.’

Angry fans: While Meryl Streep may very well add to her record 21 Oscar nominations for her performance in The Laundromat, her secret role in the film has angered some fans

The film follows Streep’s character, Ellen Martin, a widow who begins investigating an insurance fraud claim.

This leads her to a pair of Panama City, Florida attorneys (Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas) who are exploiting the world’s financial system, which was ultimately detailed in the Panama Papers leak in 2016.

The film is based on the 2017 book Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite by Jake Bernstein.

Meryl's role: The film follows Streep's character, Ellen Martin, a widow who begins investigating an insurance fraud claim

Meryl’s role: The film follows Streep’s character, Ellen Martin, a widow who begins investigating an insurance fraud claim

But fans and critics were surprised when Streep turned up as another character, an officer worker at a Panamanian law firm, where she is, ‘wearing prosthetics and putting on a thick pan-Latin accent.’

The Vanity Fair review conceded that, ‘it’s not a huge role,’ but compared the role to the mother of Hank Azaria’s character Agador Spartacus in The Birdcage.

‘Any one scene of Streep essentially playing Agador Spartacus’s mom is a scene too many,’ Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson said.

New role: But fans and critics were surprised when Streep turned up as another character, an officer worker at a Panamanian law firm, where she is, 'wearing prosthetics and putting on a thick pan-Latin accent'

New role: But fans and critics were surprised when Streep turned up as another character, an officer worker at a Panamanian law firm, where she is, ‘wearing prosthetics and putting on a thick pan-Latin accent’

Another critic, Rafael Motamayor, also called out the decision to have Streep play a Latina character.

‘Incredibly weird decision to have Meryl Streep play a 2nd character who is latina and nearly a caricature,’ Motamayor said.

He added that the film was, ‘like The Informant mixed with The Big Short but not as good as either of them,’ adding there is a, ‘great cast but in a story that drags and doesn’t have much to say.’

Called out: Another critic, Rafael Motamayor, also called out the decision to have Streep play a Latina character

Called out: Another critic, Rafael Motamayor, also called out the decision to have Streep play a Latina character

Motamayor added that no one at the Q&A called out Streep for, ‘playing a latina character including a nose prosthetic.’

Another critic, ‘Ben from Filmbusters,’ added, ‘Yikes… Just out of a screening of #TheLaundromat and between Gary Oldman’s German accent and Meryl Streep’s “blackface” this ain’t gonna age well!’

Another fan, @Julianobviously, praised fans for ‘holding Meryl Streep accountable for her racist portrayal of a latin woman,’ and added that fans should also hold director Steven Soderbergh accountable too, ‘since it’s most likely his idea!’

Q&A: Motamayor added that no one at the Q&A called out Streep for, 'playing a latina character including a nose prosthetic

Q&A: Motamayor added that no one at the Q&A called out Streep for, ‘playing a latina character including a nose prosthetic

Critic: Another critic, 'Ben from Filmbusters,' added, 'Yikes... Just out of a screening of #TheLaundromat and between Gary Oldman's German accent and Meryl Streep's "blackface" this ain't gonna age well!'

Critic: Another critic, ‘Ben from Filmbusters,’ added, ‘Yikes… Just out of a screening of #TheLaundromat and between Gary Oldman’s German accent and Meryl Streep’s “blackface” this ain’t gonna age well!’

Fan: Another fan, @Julianobviously, praised fans for 'holding Meryl Streep accountable for her racist portrayal of a latin woman,' and added that fans should also hold director Steven Soderbergh accountable too, 'since it's most likely his idea!'

Fan: Another fan, @Julianobviously, praised fans for ‘holding Meryl Streep accountable for her racist portrayal of a latin woman,’ and added that fans should also hold director Steven Soderbergh accountable too, ‘since it’s most likely his idea!’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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