- Michael Corleone Blanco criticizes Netflix’s Griselda for depicting his mother’s physical appearance inaccurately using facial prosthetics.
- Blanco asserts that his mother was a beautiful woman and that calling her ‘ugly’ offends him.
- Sofia Vergara’s transformation into Griselda involved hours of prosthetics and a wig, but Michael argues that his family’s input was disregarded.
Michael Corleone Blanco, the son of late drug lord Griselda Blanco, has a couple of qualms with Netflix’s Griselda. The limited series, which the streamer describes as a fictionalized dramatization, centers on the rise and fall of the titular character, a Colombian Queenpin whose distribution network reportedly banked $80 million a month. Among Michael’s top issues with Griselda is how the series depicts his mother’s physical appearance. In a conversation with Daily Mail, Blanco slammed the streamer and Sofia Vergara (who stars as the show’s titular character) for their use of facial prosthetics to alter the actress’ appearance.
Blanco is adamant that his mother’s looks suffered due to years of incarceration and that she was a beautiful woman.
“My mother was a beautiful woman and it’s crazy that a lot of people say ‘No, you’ve got to look more like a drug addict’… The fact that they call her ‘ugly’ that really offends me.”
Michael added that his mother’s appearance in her mugshots and during her later years (after an extended prison sentence) was different from what she looked like in her younger days, saying that his “mother was called the porcelain doll in her youth.”
“Mayors, governors and politicians in different countries would try to court my mother… even here in the United States. She was the crème de la crème.”
During a recent appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Vergara told the host that the process of turning into Griselda took hours and included prosthetics and a wig. She also provided a peek at the process through an Instagram post.
Sofia Vergara Breaks New Ground Playing as the Notorious Colombian Drug Queen in Netflix’s Griselda First-Look Images
Sofia Vergara is the feared drug queen Griselda Blanco in the upcoming series from Netflix.
Michael Corleone on His Lack of Input for Griselda: “It’s Such a Slap in the Face”
Michael, who previously appeared in the VH1 reality series Cartel Crew, is the only surviving, and youngest, of Griselda’s four sons. Prior to the January 25 premiere of Griselda, Michael and his wife filed a lawsuit in Miami against the actress, Netflix and others involved in the show’s production. The two are asking for an excess of $50,000, arguing that the show uses the unauthorized “image, likeness and/or identity” of the Blanco family. According to the complaint, producers had conversations with Michael (that were recorded) that were used while crafting the series, but Michael received no compensation.
As he tells the Daily Mail:
“They extended an invitation for us to sit with them to tell us there was no room on the project. Sofia’s camp and the Netflix creators were disrespectful and ultimately produced the ‘Griselda’ project on their own for commercial gain, without key details from the Blanco family. All I have to say is that if my mother was alive, she wouldn’t have got away with it.”
Griselda was arrested in New York in 1985 on cocaine trafficking charges. She served 13 years in federal prison and then was transferred to Florida where she made a plea deal on three murder charges in 1998. Because of ongoing health issues, she was released from prison in 2004 and was deported to Colombia. She lived there until she was murdered on September 3, 2012 at the age of 69.
According to Michael, the fact that Vergara is also Colombian deepens the offense:
“It’s such a slap in the face knowing that we come from the same land, that we come from the same culture. No matter what, you need to respect my mother enough to seek the consultation of our youngest son – her best friend that visited her five times a week during her 23 years incarceration. Not only is it a slap in my face, it is a slap in the face of my ancestors, that she would do such a thing. No matter where you are now, or how elite, it’s in the Colombian way.”
Michael has released a book, My Mother, The Godmother And The True Story Of Michael Corleone Blanco, The Son Of Griselda Blanco, in hopes of telling her “story correctly.” He wants his family’s story to “be humanized, not villainized.”
Griselda is now streaming on Netflix.