There he is! Have a seat. Armando! A bottle of the ’08 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay for the table. Don’t bother looking at the menu. Armando will ask the head chef to make us something special. Won’t you, Armando?
Let’s get down to brass tacks, kid. I see big things for you in the future. Big things. You into fast cars? Gorgeous supermodels? Access to anything in the world only a phone call away? How about changing your Hispanic surname to avoid being typecast as Latino Thug #2 for the rest of your career?
That last one is pretty important.
Before you say anything, hear me out: Show business is a business. It’s right there in the title. And we happen to be in the business of make-believe. Whether it’s Nicholas Cage driving an experimental hover Ferrari into the heart of ISIS-held territory or a bunch of those freaky little Hobbits fighting off a big ass dragon, we make the impossible happen. Anything our writers think up, we can show it on the silver screen… except for a Latino as the lead protagonist in a film that’s aimed towards a mainstream audience. It’s just not believable. We’re making the latest installment in the biggest sci-fi franchise of all time, not some rinky-dink Cesar Chavez biopic.
Let me be clear: This is not a racist request. Our studio is always looking to increase our diversity. But these are tough economic times and we can’t take any risks, especially with our summer tentpoles. Trust me. Changing your name is the best decision you’ll ever make. Does Anthony Quinn get any Oscar nominations if he was Antonio Oaxaca? Do you honestly believe Vanna White makes a fortune in letter-flipping if she didn’t hide her Puerto Rican heritage with a surname reflecting her new identity? You still don’t look convinced. Fine. Let me give you some cold, hard facts. Martin and Charlie Sheen: Three Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a combined net worth of $200 million. Emilio Estevez: Three Mighty Ducks movies. And he got fucked on the residuals.
Why are you staring at me like I just pissed in your cereal? I’m only looking out for your best interests. And if you think I’m not recognizing the irony of changing your last name, a name that you possess only due to the rape of your Indigenous great-great-great-great-great-great grandmother by a Spanish conquistador, then you’re not giving me enough credit. Y’know, my family name underwent a change as well. When my ancestors set foot on Ellis Island, they altered it to better fit with an America that wasn’t ready to accept my people as doctors or business owners. And as it happens to be, today’s America is not ready to see a Mexican shoot lasers at creepy green aliens. Huh? You’re Cuban? For five million dollars and points off the back end, what’s the difference?
Woah woah woah, where are you going, kid? Don’t just get up and leave in a huff. Armando’s not even back with our food! I don’t understand why you’re taking this so personally. I’m just giving it to you straight because I’m a no-bullshit kind of guy. Besides, race is just a social construct. It’s not like it actually exists!