Tenoch Huerta, the rising star of ‘Black Panther 2,’ the follow-up to the first significant Black superhero film, is waging an on-screen campaign against racism in his native Mexico.
The 41-year-old hopes to break the custom of Mexican actors of Indigenous descent being placed in the roles of thieves and criminals by using his rising celebrity.
Huerta, who will play Namor the Sub-Mariner in Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ joins a select group of notable Mexican actors who have gained international fame, like Salma Hayek, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.
Huerta, who is from a working-class neighbourhood of Mexico City, had several obstacles on his way to Hollywood.
‘Like thousands of dark-skinned people, I’ve been called names such as ‘dirty Indian,’ he wrote in his new book ‘Orgullo Prieto’ (Brown Pride).
‘Mexico is a country that’s racist and denies it,’ he added.
Huerta said it is a myth that Mexico today is a mixed-race country where skin colour is unimportant.
‘This is how we deny the cultural and linguistic diversity of all Indigenous nations, Afro-descendant communities, Asians,’ he wrote.
In the Netflix sensation ‘Narcos: Mexico,’ Huerta, who also portrayed notorious drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, questioned the style of thought ‘that positions white, contemporary, Western, on a superior level.’
Mexico is home to 23.2 million people over the age of three who identify as Indigenous, representing 19.4 per cent of the population, according to the national statistics agency INEGI.
Around one in five Mexican adults said they had experienced discrimination over the past year, mainly because of their skin colour, in the first national survey on the subject in 2O17.