Here is news that makes you wonder if major networks are starting to take a second look at how Latinos should be portrayed on mainstream television. "Devious Maids," by creator Marc Cherry and executive producer Eva Longoria, who suggested last month that the show would be a symbol of pride for the Latino community, will never make it to ABC, according to Latina magazine. Starring four Latina leads, the show's premise had the Latino blogosphere buzzing last month as to whether a show about four maids would help break down tired and stale Latino stereotypes. Guess ABC thought the show wasn't going to be a hit, and why even bother.
This is what Latina is reporting today:
The pilot, which also featured All My Children’s Susan Lucci, wasn’t a favorite among some critics who felt that the premise of the show perpetrated an inaccurate and subservient stereotype about Latinos. Ligiah Villalobos, a television and film writer, said, “If the title is Devious Maids, then you have to go in as an audience realizing that it will be a very specific type of show and not one that is designed to enhance or uplift the Latino community.”
Longoria fired back in a recent interview with Huffington Post by saying, “My immediate response is, ‘So you are telling me that those stories aren’t worth telling? That those people are lesser than…because they are a maid?’ That’s what angers me…especially within the Latino community.”
In this specific case, Longoria misses the point. We can do better. We can demand for better programming since the opportunities to showcase Latino talent on network TV, outside of telenovela divas, is few and far between. Maids just won't win you many supporters, no matter how much star power you have. Maybe it is a lesson that in the quest to put more Latinos on TV, producers with Longoria's clout can take better risks and not just settle.