Hollywood Whitewashed ‘La Llorona’ And Stripped It Of Its Mexican Roots

As a kid, La Llorona was a serious threat

Photo: Unsplash/@thisispower

Photo: Unsplash/@thisispower

As a kid, La Llorona was a serious threat. If you misbehave, La Llorona will get you. It wasn’t so much the story of La Llorona that was scary but more so knowing that mothers were capable of killing their children. The folklore of La Llorona is unescapable in Mexican culture — and Latin America — because we knew very well that mothers did, in fact, get angry, so who knows what they were capable of. There’s little to no variation to the story, but as legend has it: in a fit of rage, a mother drowned her children in a river and then she either can’t remember killing them or is regretful. She ultimately spends eternity crying and calling out for her dead children.

Now, Hollywood has taken that concept and turned it into something completely laughable. The trailer for The Curse of La Llorona dropped yesterday and people on social media dismissed this whitewashed version and also shared what La Llorona is all about.

But first here’s the synopsis, according to Vulture. “Set in the 1970s, Llorona stars Linda Cardellini as a social worker and mother of two who must enlist the help of a dispirited priest to try and stop the deadly curse.” So right off the bat, we’re pissed that the film stars as a white woman. It also features Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velasquez, and Marisol Ramirez in co-starring roles.

Here’s the trailer.

There’s literally nothing we can tell from this trailer that shows audiences — some completely new to this story — that goes into the rich history of  La Llorona. So, naturally people are upset that Hollywood would take one of our stories and flip it to fit their Hollywood narrative. So what do people have to say about this ridiculous concept?

“After she said ‘la llorana’ they way she did, I knew this movie was going to do no justice to one of the most terrifying stories of my childhood. It’s a no from me.” – @crodrgz_  Because hearing “la llorona” in english is seriously a slap in the face.

“In Curse of La Llorona the main character is named Anna Garcia, but is played by…Linda Cardellini?? An Irish-Italian woman.” – @delondra_w. Who are they trying to fool?

“Really sick of the movie narrative this year in which white women are preyed upon by evil, somehow-all-powerful Mexican forces. (Peppermint, La Llorona) Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans feel powerless and don’t need that kind of “help” right now, thanks.” – @delondra_w

“It’s actually super disappointing that this is not a Mexican led film… way to drop the ball. I was real hyped when I heard about the movie too…” – @FkwitI

We originally mentioned that director of The Curse of La Llorona Michael Chaves is Latino, but Remezcla Film Editor Vanessa Erazo told us that he in fact Portuguese-American. That incorrect assumption on our part gave this film some brownie points, and also because they included Latino actors as well. Execs truly did a half-ass job with presenting La Llorona as she is and instead butchered the story while also having a white woman in the lead role. That in itself is plain disrespectful.

The film is set to be released earlier next year, and not on Halloween or Day of the Dead. Ay dios!

In this Article

la llorona latinos in hollywood news
More on this topic