Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Principe Update

Yesterday, I wrote about Telemundo's new reality show, El Príncipe Azul, and the comment made by the mamá norteamericana: "Yo no quiero nietos negros."

I originally thought that the comment was made directly to the Dominican contestant. As it turns out, it was made "privately" to the other women of the family, the príncipe's tía and abuela. "Privately," of course, meaning on national TV. To their credit, the tía and abuela disagreed with the mamá.

Well, I wasn't the only one struck by that comment. Our local Spanish news reported on the reactions around here to those palabras controversiales. And obviously, the producers chose to put that comment on the air because they knew it would be news -- and it would keep people watching.

The interesting thing to me is that it opens up conversations on race and prejudices in all the cultures portrayed in the show. I would like to believe that these prejudices are as pasado de moda as Andrés García's celebrated machismo. But I know that in the real world, they're not.

I live in a town with a lot of interracial families (and a lot of gay families as well). A friend of mine who is white and married to an African-American, with three biracial kids, said to me once: "The white (liberal) kids are always trying to pretend that race isn't an issue. The black kids know it is. Nothing is going to get better until we can all be honest about the issue."

Whatever you think about the machista and exploitative excesses of El Príncipe Azul, it is providing an honest look into both the stated and unstated views on race in Latino and Anglo cultures.

2 comments:

BG said...

I haven't watched that show, but I agree that issues related to skin color and nationality are real, even if sometimes takes a closer look to see them clearly.

Nayeli said...

I think Americans are often scared to bring up real issues because of the discomfort it might cause. A lot of political correctness is just about hiding the issues. I completely agree with you that the show may show some ugly stuff, but that at least it could be a way of getting people to talk about it.