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Telemundo has for a long time been considered a cornerstone of the Latinx community, for many Latinx folx, it is one of the first forms of representation in mainstream media. Next to Univision it has dominated the Latinx media circuit and is revered as one of the greatest Latinx platforms. Many have watched it since their youth and they are infamous for their novelas and shows. However, recently it has come to light that although they preach about elevating and helping out fellow Latinx people they are much more focused on archaic racial ideals and standards.  


Olivier Bergeron on Unsplash

The information came to light where Telemundo decided to pass up skillful and educated Latinx applicants in order to hire a conventionally attractive white man with a less than good handle on the Spanish language. One of the main voices in this discussion is Tiktoker Gordacorajuda also known as Jackie. On June eighth she decided to discuss this issue in a TikTok where she opens up the dialogue on how much of Telemundo’s cast and employees tend to be Latinx people who embody eurocentric beauty standards and they tend to also be able to be read as white or Western. She goes on to inform her follower about how Ryan Proctor was featured in ‘En Casa con Telemundo” a  variety show simply because he was a white man who was learning Spanish and had an interest in novelas. Telemundo decided to forgo their search in which they considered many other Latinx creators who also had platforms and a love for novelas to hire a white man. From this Ryan has been able to further his fame. This shows how instead of actually promoting the Latinx community Telemundo decided to feed into the notion that whiteness and eurocentric beauty are superior skills and talent. 

However, it does not end there as in a follow-up TikTok Jackie goes on to discuss one of the Telemundo producer’s responses. Gabriella Caballero, the said producer, released a statement in Spanish where she goes on to say that she feels that it is bad that people are complaining about Ryan just because he is white and talks about Telemundo cast that are Latinx to mitigate the damage and to show “diversity.”She puts Ryan’s opinion above all others as she states that it was great because a white American man was interested in novelas, as if other people around the world didn’t like novelas. She goes on to state that Telemundo is trying to uphold aspirational beauty which points to the blatant discrimination in casting as they care more about Western beauty standards than promoting Latinx creators. That being said it also shows how much of an issue there still is in the Latinx community especially regarding race and beauty standards.

It is great that Jackie (@Gordacorajuda ) used her platform to open up the conversation around the discriminatory practices in Telemundo. This shows how much work there still needs to be done when it comes to good and accurate representation. Representation is not enough; rather we need quality and actual variety, not just those who encompass Western beauty the best. This is important because we know the reach and effect Telemundo possesses and those watching, the Latinx community deserves to be represented and celebrated for who they are and as they come, not what pleases or appeals to eurocentric ideals.

 

Paulina Herrera

UC Riverside '22

Paulina Herrera is a junior at UC Riverside studying English. She has spent her time refining her skills as an art director intern for The Naked Magazine and as an intern for The Art Collection, NY. When she is not working on her art or writing you can find her reading copious amounts of comics and books or attending conventions.
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