Latinos Are Our Own Worst Enemy: Why Shows Like CRISTELA Matter


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Cristela, the little show that could, just ended its first season. However, it is not certain if the recent season finale will in fact be a series finale, and I was inspired to write this article after reading creator and star Cristela Alonzo’s heartbreaking, thoughtful and important blog postabout her show and what it has meant to her. Below are some highlights where Alonzo addresses criticisms that have been made about her show, and then I will elaborate on her fantastic message about the minority experience in pop culture:
“NOT ALL LATINO FAMILIES ARE LIKE THAT!  You’re right. They’re not.  That’s why the show is called “Cristela” and not “Every Latino Family,” even though it has a better ring to it.  What maybe some people don’t get is that this show isn’t based on something I’m making up but rather on things that happened from my real life.”
“Not all Latinos are like that but think about it this way.  Let’s look at Big Bang Theory and Modern Family, two successful shows that feature a predominantly white cast.  White people don’t say, “HEY BIG BANG THEORY! NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE LIKE THAT! MODERN FAMILY! NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE ARE LIKE THAT!””
THE MOM ON YOUR SHOW IS SO STEREOTYPICAL. I LOVE this one. LOVE this criticism so much because it’s super easy for me to explain how wrong they are in saying this and I can do that by asking one question:  Which mom are you talking about? Because on the show, there are TWO mothers: my mother Natalia and my sister Daniela.  So which one is stereotypical?  They always mean Natalia but that’s my point exactly.  There are TWO mothers on the show and the reason Natalia is so rough and mean is because that’s how my mom was in real life. I can’t write her any other way because that wouldn’t be honoring the person my mom really was.”
“In order to see how far we’ve come, we need to see the point from which we started and if the characters aren’t flawed, then how do they become better people?”
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