Yesterday I asked if networks were finally adding more diversity to their fall lineups, and today it seems like it might actually be true. Only problem? They seem to want people of color to play to the stereotype.

According to Deadline and Jezebel, Eva Longoria is set to produce a new show featuring four Latina leads (!!)…who will all play maids.

Tentatively titled Devious Maids, the show is based on the popular Mexican telenovela Ellas son…la alegría del hogar, and follows four maids as they work for some of Beverly Hills’ wealthiest families while pursuing their own dreamsThe show will reportedly star veteran actors Judy Reyes, Roselyn Sanchez, Ana Ortiz, and Dania Ramirez.

While some may cite this as a coup for Latinas–I mean, when was a show anchored by four Latina leads? Others, however, are wondering why these women have to play maids (and who are their bosses? hmm), one of the most common roles Latina actresses are forced to play.

As Dodai Stewart of Jezebel notes

The problem is, very rarely are [diverse] parts open to women with Latina backgrounds. Even Jennifer Lopez played a maid. And think of Teresa Yenque, who has been on seven different episodes of Law & Order: SVU, and played “Cleaning Lady,” “Housekeeper,” and “Housekeeper/Nanny.”

Many black folks wouldn’t support The Help because they felt–as amazing as they were–Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis’ roles as black maids in the South was just another example of black women being forced to play into a deep-seated stereotype–and then celebrated for it. So it remains to be seen if Latinas will rally around this show, although I’m sure they’d love to see themselves represented in other ways.

What do you think? 

  • Shirl

    My mother was a single mom, worked hard, put me through school, made sure I never went hungry, had a place to lay my head at night etc. My mom was a maid. She did what she had to do and she sacrificed so much to make sure I was well taken care of. It makes me sad to hear people call what she did for a living degrading. She was a proud, strong, honest and hard working woman.

  • Perverted Alchemist

    Shirl, it isn’t the profession that’s the problem, it’s the movie roles and stereotypes associated with it. If you know about the history of minority women in Hollywood, then their gripes make perfect sesne- I’ll explain further:

    A long time ago in Hollywood, Black women- and in some cases, Latina women- were not cast in any roles in a film- be it major or minor. When they actually were cast, it was usually in stereotypical roles- the most known being the role of the maid.

    You always hear about Hattie McDaniel being the first Black person to win an Oscar. What role did she win an award for? Playing the role of a maid in “Gone With The Wind”.

  • Georgia

    Black and Latina are not necessarily mutually exclusive – “them” are “us.”

  • Vicky

    Not ironic. While most of the US likes to group all Hispanics/Latinos as one, within Hispanic/Latino community there’s plenty of internal racism to go around. Eva Longoria is Mexican. The actresses playing the maids are of either Puerto Rican or Dominican descent. Tune into most Spanish telenovelas (especially since Devious Maids is reboot of one) and you’ll see the same darker skin Latinas playing “the help” stereotype.

    Not surprising that she jumped on board. She’s executive producer #7 for the show. I guess they needed a Latina face to validate the project so that the Latino community doesn’t get upset.

  • Shirl

    Perverted Alchemist: I’m not saying that folks shouldn’t be disturbed by the potrayls of minorities in Hollywood…just wanted to give a shout out to my mom whose no longer with me. Let her know how proud I am of her and how much she was appreciated (as I’m sure she is reading Clutch in Heaven). I saw the word degrading in one of the posts when refering to maids and it made me a little sad, but I get your point.

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