“Para mis hijos, deseo algo más.”
It is the voice of maids, housekeepers, nannies, gardeners, poolmen and more that I would talk to while riding the Metro in Los Angeles on my way to work every morning. It’s the voice of my own grandfather, as he sat down for a well earned dinner, after traveling over an hour each way by bus to work as a janitor at a large university. Almost like clockwork, after sighing with exhaustion, he would look right at me or my siblings and say,”Para tí, deseo algo más.” For you, I wish for something more.
I could probably say the same thing to Eva Longoria about producing Devious Maids, it’s a fact I think she agrees with herself. Devious Maids is a show about five Latina maids, living and working in five different homes, at least 4 of which are employed by Caucasian couples with stereotypical Beverly Hills housewives as the lady of the house. The issue isn’t whether the show is entertaining (it is), or whether it’s lead characters are played tastefully (they are), the issue is here is another show with yet another Latina maid. Oh wait, that’s FIVE Latina maids. Because that’s all we can play, apparently.
In Hollywood, those roles have been the main options for Latino actors since the 1890′s when Latinos were featured in silent films as uneducated and untrustworthy (coughcoughDEVIOUScoughcough). The roles Latinos in Hollywood typically are sought to play are limited to usually various members of “the help”, gang members, and criminals. Sure, there have been Latina doctors (Callie in Grey’s Anatomy), Latina Detectives (Lt. Maria Guerta on Dexter) and a few other roles, but that’s the problem, it’s just a few. Eva Longoria had a great opportunity to create a show with a Latina cast, and I applaud the fact that yes, there are five smart, beautiful Latina actresses as the leads of the series. But, considering the rise of the Latino culture and population in America, why maids….AGAIN? Now is the time to show that Latinas can be anything. One thing I can agree on with Eva, this is not a wasted opportunity. It’s not a waste because now we can tell Hollywood, this isn’t how we want to be seen anymore.
Deseamos algo más.
Make sure you keep up with my latest Babble Voices posts at “All That Sass“
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