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Casting authentically in Hollywood




LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07:  (L-R) Actors Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman and Kim Coates arrive at the premiere of FX's
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) Actors Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman and Kim Coates arrive at the premiere of FX's "Sons of Anarchy" Season 6 at the Dolby Theatre on September 7, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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Over the weekend, Twitter tied itself in knots with multiple folks chiming in about the casting of actor Charlie Hunnam as a Mexican American Drug Lord.  

Hunnam, of 'Sons of Anarchy' fame, is white and British.

FILE - US citizen Edgar Valdez Villareal aka 'La Barbie', alleged drug lord of the Beltran Leyva cartel, is presented to the press at the Federal Police headquarters in Mexico City, on August 31, 2010. Mexican authorities started the process for La Barbie's extradition to the US on November 20, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - US citizen Edgar Valdez Villareal aka 'La Barbie', alleged drug lord of the Beltran Leyva cartel, is presented to the press at the Federal Police headquarters in Mexico City, on August 31, 2010. Mexican authorities started the process for La Barbie's extradition to the US on November 20, 2010. AFP PHOTO/Alfredo Estrella (Photo credit should read ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images)
ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

To be fair, the narco he's been tapped to portray, Edgar Valdez Villarreal (pictured on the right),  is light of hair,  blue-eyed and nicknamed " La Barbie" because of his looks.

Still, this all comes at a time when a lot of people in Hollywood are talking, again, about the fact that not a single actor of color was nominated for an Oscar.

It raises a question that's been around for decades. Should actors always be of the same ethnicity as the character they play?

Or should casting directors have some creative license? We asked one. 

Angela M. Hutchinson is a casting director for independent films and the founder of the nonprofit "Breaking into Hollywood".