By now you may have already seen perhaps one of the most overtly bad stereotype moments of 2015. Earlier today The Real talk show thought dressing up its hosts in sarapes, sombreros and mustaches while doing a cooking bit about quesadillas would be funny. It wasn’t even close.
All you need to do is check some of the comments on the show’s site (these comments are from Latinas who caught the show):
This is beyond ignorant, stereotypical and offensive. How are you going to “dress up” for Kosher recipe day? Soul food recipe day? Adrienne [one of the hosts, Adrienne Bailon, is of Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian descent], how are you going to “dress up” all the ladies for Boricua recipe day? This was an absurd segment, fail fail fail on so many levels. Why didn’t you stay in your regular clothes, you do it all the time? Oh I see, you think it’s ok to only mock and disrespect “some” people…”
As a Mexican American I am offended by your “we’re cooking Mexican food so let’s dress up like Mexicans segment”. Did anyone of your producers stop to think that perhaps this was an ignorant idea? Would you dress up in Chinese attire for an Asian cooking segment, or dress up as African Americans to do a Southern Fried Chicken spot? NO. So then why would you think this would be less offensive to dress up in Sombreros and Zarapes? As a teacher I do my best teach my students to celebrate the beauty in our cultures and not to make fun or make light of each others traditions or differences. Your segment does just the opposite of what we need to teach our children. Stereotypes hurt. Fake mustaches and all!
Apparently, the show’s site kept these pictures up all day, until about an hour ago, when they were no longer on the site:
That had one commenter reminding the show the following:
You think changing the picture will make this better? Nope. It’s all over social media, plus hello screen shots and your segment is available on Buzzfeed. Not only did you create and show this epic fail of a segment you also did another tweet AFTER all the backlash making the situation worse and doubling down on flipping the bird at “those” people you believe it’s ok to mock and offend. What are y’all going to wear on Soul food recipe day? Can you imagine how offended people would be if you stuck to stereotypes 101? Perspective….
By the way, when we shared the Buzzfeed piece on our Facebook site, the thread confirmed to us why so many people (mostly guys) think we are being too “sensitive.” Here are some actual comments from actual people:
From one guy: “Aye, calmate Jesse Jackson. This is out of line? You see this kind of mockery on Telemundo. Maybe we should start portraying ourselves how we want to be perceived on our own canales. We do it to other cultures on those same Spanish variety shows, and we laugh, que no?”
Our response: “We never said Spanish-language TV was not problematic. Thanks. Doesn’t make this segment get a pass.”
Here’s another one from a guy: “What’s the issue? Would it be an issue if they wore a Kimono robe for a Chinese food segment? You are making something out of nothing here. Stop race baiting.”
Our response: “…to answer your original question: if the hosts wore a Kimono robe for a Chinese food segment (even though kinmonos are Japanese, but minor detail), yes it would still be an issue. Thanks.”
This one too: “Why are people so sensitive. Stop being so feminine.” Or this one: “An issue for absolute pussies maybe.”
We didn’t respond to that one for obvious reasons. Yes, they are both from guys.
Here’s another: “This site likes pumping activists up for nothing ala Al Sharpton. I just saw Don Cheto wearing a similar outfit!!! This is ridiculous quit crying racism and start posting about real issues.”
Nonetheless, most of the comments thought the segment was completely stupid and ignorant.
We also got this winning reply: ” What’s the problem? This is exactly what I wear every day at the office.”
That last one made us laugh, but still, this whole cooking segment was an absolute fail.