US media culture does in fact give us mixed messages about the Latinx community as Valvida stated in her introduction of her book, Latino/as in the Media. She discusses that while Latinos/as are viewed in glamour and fame, they are also viewed as for their immigration status which would eventually threaten our society. An example I found is from Jane the Virgin, which is a great show that tells the story in a novella like way to a dominant American audience. While I could not find the actual episode, I found a clip that displays the main characters Jane grandma series of unfortunate events. Please watch 1:22 to 2:06.
In this episode, Jane’s grandma is at risk of getting deported, which is a HUGE issue in the media and world at this particular time. While the show does not make this the main storyline, they do touch on it quite a bit.
On the other hand, Modern Family’s Sofia Verga’s character brings up many arguments. Please watch the beginning to 0:45.
In these clips, Sofia’s character is mispronouncing many different words that Americans know. In this show, Sofia is known for her good looks and “exoticness”. Yet in comparison, Valvida would argue that the US media is sending mixed messages about Latinos/as. In comparison to Jane the Virign, this role that Sofia plays is confusing. In the clip from Jane the Virgin, immigration is discussed with Abuela Alba, who only speaks Spanish, while in Modern Family, Sofia is speaking with an accent and not in Spanish. When people correct her in the way that they do, it demonstrates that she is not assimilated to the American culture. To some that are unaware of the minority community, this may be confusing. Though both characters are playing different roles and challenging different stereotypes, they both play off of the idea that they do not belong.
My questions for you are:
- What other roles can you think of that Latinos/as play in American television?
- Do these roles change as the times change? Think of how Jane the Virign mentioned immigration around the time of 2016.
- What do you think the future for Latinos/as are in the future since they are the largest minority?