We’re all for Latino representation in Hollywood— in fact, our community demands it but not like this.
The LatinoJustice PRLDEF is calling out a new film titled Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner, for its negative portrayal of Latinos and the stereotypical ways in which they are seen in the movie.
The film’s synopsis is like most revenge crime storylines. Garner plays Riley North, a mother and wife with a picture perfect life. The film begins after Riley wakes up from a coma after surviving a brutal attack in which her husband and daughter were killed. According to the film’s website: “When the system shields the murderers from justice, Riley sets out to transform herself from citizen to urban guerrilla. Channeling frustration into motivation, the young widow spends years in hiding — honing her mind, body and spirit to become an unstoppable force. Eluding the underworld, the police and the FBI, Riley embarks on a deadly quest to deliver her own personal brand of punishment.”
What that synopsis fails to mention is that the killers of Garner’s happy family happens to be gang members and drug cartels. Several Latino film critics have also bashed the movie for its anti-Latino message. “Nearly everything in Peppermint comes back to how immigrants – specifically Latino immigrants – are destroying the country.” writer Kristin Lopez said according to Remezcla. “The film’s setup plays like Trumpian rhetoric made flesh. It’d be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous,” writer Manuel Betancourt also said according to Remezcla.
LatinoJustice PRLDEF has launched a petition to have the film pulled from theaters.
“At LatinoJustice we fight the stereotyping and criminalization of our community every day, and films like Peppermint only serve to endanger our communities and make our work that much more difficult,” the petition states. “This film pours gasoline on the anti-Latino fire already raging throughout our nation, thanks in no small part to the Trump administration’s harmful policy agenda and the President’s own constant output of disparaging remarks.”
We will not tolerate Latino-bashing films to demonize our gente and threaten our communities. Sign the petition to demand @PeppermintMovie be pulled from theaters immediately. #StopThePepperMENTIRAS https://t.co/9slL21NJXv
— LatinoJustice PRLDEF (@latinojustice) September 10, 2018
The petition has also launched the hashtag
#StopThePepperMENTIRAS on social media.
“Artistic creativity is beautiful thing, but when it is misused & supports an anti-immigrant agenda then it must be called out. Help us by clicking the link & signing the petition,” Civil Rights Attorney Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr. tweeted.