Calling Out Affleck’s Casting Decision in “Argo”


Notice anything different in the photos above? If you’ve seen the film, writer Amanda Hess makes a good point: “As the end credits roll, he offers side-by-side comparisons of the film’s characters and their real-life counterparts. It’s a fun exercise—many, like John Goodman and legendary Hollywood makeup artist John Chambers, are the spitting image of one another. Tellingly, Affleck leaves himself and Mendez out.” Her post titled “Ben Affleck Is No Tony Mendez” on Slate.com came across my Twitter timeline just hours after I saw the film.

I’d been planning to see the movie since it premiered at Telluride. I even read the 2007 Wired Magazine article that inspired the script. As soon as I saw a picture of the real Antonio “Tony” Mendez, I knew someone was going to bring up the word that popped in my head: whitewashed. I mean, has anyone seen THE LONE RANGER trailer? I appreciated that at least actor/director Ben Affleck didn’t put on an accent or alter his skin tone. His performance in the movie seemed genuinely focused on bringing the essence of Mendez’s story to the screen.

As the director, would it have been in the best interest of the story for Ben Affleck to cast someone other than himself to play the lead? Does it dilute the significance of the actual ARGO mission? A screenwriting professor once told me: “Don’t let the truth get in the way of the story.” Perhaps Affleck and Co. follow the same school of thought.

You can read the full piece from Slate HERE.

Photo via sefijaonline.com.

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5 thoughts on “Calling Out Affleck’s Casting Decision in “Argo”

  1. revjonflores says:

    Interesting. Can’t wait to read what you have to say about Cloud Atlas’ yellow-face and Jew-face. I wasn’t aware of this issue until a (white) friend on fb called CA one of the most racist things he’s seen.

  2. redbean says:

    i totally agree with the sentiment! however, i believe that photo you posted of “tony mendez” is actually some random iranian dude… tony mendez was in the part of the photo that you cut out.

    • Oh, I just included the photo that was in another article on sefijaonline.com, which commented on the same observations about casting. Will the real Tony please stand up?? Thanks for reading!

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