Hola México jumped on the Yalitza Aparicio bandwagon with a colorful splash –and cover story honoring the Oscar-nominated indigenous actress. But Hola México being Hola México, decided to give Yalitza the not-so-indigenous look, going a little heavy on the Photoshop, both on the cover and in the inside pages of the magazine.
Twitter Mexico, of course, responded as it usually does: With dozens of possible, hilarious theories to explain Yalitza’s impossibly long legs.
Here’s a screenshot taken from the pages of Hola México:
A study commissioned by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) concluded that skin color “has an influence on the level of education that people reach as well as the employment opportunities available to them.”
And that is not all. A previous study by Mexico’s National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED), also showed that a whopping 20 percent of Mexicans’ “don’t feel comfortable with the color of their skin and many feel they had been discriminated against because of their physical appearance, mainly for being dark-skinned.
“Discrimination against people of brown complexion has been normalized for a very long time,” Evelia Reyes, a social and cultural history educator at the College of Mexico, told Mexico’s Animal Político.
You don’t say.
I’m no social worker or history educator and know almost nothing about research. But I’ve been watching Mexican television long enough to have an idea or two of where this whole “normalization” comes from.
Oh, and if you want to be further depressed, WATCH the video below. SIGH.
In an effort to lure the elusive teen audience, Mexico’s Grupo Televisa is working to bring us Like (Yes, Like as in “me gusta”) a teen telenovela that promises to “forever revolutionize” the novela genre.
And what kind of a revolution are we talking about here exactly?
“The goal is to introduce Internet and connectivity into the realm of telenovelas,” said producer Pedro Damián in an interview with Mexican television, explaining that –unlike your regular telenovela, Like is going to be a “multiplatform” one, because it will not only take place on TV, but on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and all that jazz.
But if none of the above is revolutionary enough for you, keep in mind this thing will take place in a “multiethnic school,” and feature kids from, like, a lot of countries and continents, that speak many languages, and… blah, blah, blah…
May is my favorite month of the year, and not only because it is my birthday, and spring is blooming and all that crap. It is because in addition to the very serious journalistic work I do everyday, I get to attend some of the presentations, parties and after-parties around the so-called Hispanic TV upfronts.
My favorite part, of course, is trying to cover the not-so-serious side of the three-day-marathon of parties, parties and programming presentations, interviews and business meetings.
Here are some highlights of this year’s Hispanic TV upfronts, which have left this blogger (and her liver) particularly damaged.
CNN en Español: Eñes, Eñes Everywhere!
* Hispanic TV Upfront week officially kicked off with a small, but lively party in New York City hosted by CNN en Español, which insists on putting an eñe on its logo, even though it looks silly and makes no sense whatsoever. This time around, though, the “eñe-offender” made its way to pillows, cookies and chocolates, because why have pass the opportunity to amplify the silliness?
Personally, the highlight of this year’s CÑÑ’s presentation was non other than Jeff Zucker, the mero merojefe of CNN (sans eñe,) who kicked off the event by addressing the audience in a moderately good Spanish.
Needless to say, this blogger did her best to run after him as soon as he stepped off the thing and tried to ask him who had coached him in the language of Cervantes. Alas, I have to report Mr. Zucker runs way faster than me!
Unlike previous years, Telemundo did not host its own upfront presentation, but was a small part of a much bigger event by parent company NBCU at Radio City Hall. But in an effort to make it up to the many people it didn’t invite to Radio City Hall (ahem, ahem, self,) it treated hundreds of advertising executives, media — and me, of course — to a lavish party Monday night featuring Enrique Iglesias (also known as The-Singer-That-Makes-This-Blogger-Feel-Like-a-Cougar.)
As usual, right before the event I was able to squeeze past security and reach the so-called VIP area of the Hammerstein Ballroom, where I spotted my friend José Díaz Balart chatting with former Univision star Mario Kreutzberger (aka Don Francisco) who is making a TV comeback on Telemundo — for some reason.
It is important to note there was some kind of “wall” between me and the celebrities, but nothing a crafty Mexican couldn’t get through.
Univision’s ‘Proof of Passion’
Univision’s theme for its 2017 Upfront presentation was “Proof of Passion,” a celebration of the things that Hispanics are so passionate about, namely soccer, family and dancing! Yes, there was the usual stuff about how much my people (i.e. The Hispanics) love soccer, their family and all that jazz. But there were also some fun jabs at Telemundo’s own theme, SHIFT, which Univision simply dismissed as just “a crock of shift.”
“We’ve heard how there’s some kind of shift happening,” said Steve Mandala, Univision’s executive vicepresident of ad sales. “That is a crock of shift.”
Univision’s presentation closed with Shakira performing two songs. TWO SONGS, after which she just simply wished us all well and walked away.
Oh and did I mention how RUDE and awful it was for Univision to forgo its lavish luncheon that had become a legend in town? Come on, Randy Falco, that luncheon was literally the only thing that made this blogger get her Latina butt moving and stand the horrors of Times Square.
Are you telling me Univision finances are so bad that you couldn’t afford the spiced pollo of last year? SAD!
This year, the party took place at ESPACE NY, and – unlike previous years – it was much smaller, and the room looked kind of empty at times. On the bright side, it was easier to harass famous, beautiful Latin people and refill my champagne glass way faster than in years before.
Other than me, other beautiful people who showed up included.
María Elena Salinas, looking sharp as ever and drinking tons of water (which is what I should have done)
Thalía, who received an special award for being the Latina that has been featuring more times in the special Bellos issue….
David Chocarro, who was seen posing near some skincare products, but could have used a comb instead…
… and Lili Estefan, Raúl de Molina, Geraldine Bazán, Gabriel Soto and many, many more famous Latinos whose name I couldn’t really catch after all those liters of … Seltzer water.
Anyhow, everything ended up smoothly and this blogger was able to go back home in one piece, blessed by a beautiful Manhattan night.
Mexican media giant — and Univision partner in [programming] crime — this week announced the launch of Blim.com, an OTT service á la Netflix.
Per the official announcement, the service is expected to cost $6.05 per month (which is roughly many, many, many pesos) and feature “relevant, Spanish-language programming targeting users in Mexico and Latin America.”
Mexicans promptly took to Twitter to share their “enthusiasm” around this thing. NOT.
Here are only a few examples of what Mexico twitteratti is saying about Blim.com
In an ongoing effort to pursue millennials (aka good-for-nothings-who-are-obsessed-with-Snapchat) Univision today announced the launch of Tenemos que hablar, a Spanish-language web series that follows “the rocky, and often hilarious, long-distance relationship between 20-year-old Emilia and her boyfriend Bobi, who just moved from Mexico to Miami.”
Filmed in Mexico and Miami, the 12-episode series features “YouTube stars” Daniel Tovar and Ricardo Polanco, whom I’m sure are very well known in their respective households and among millennials and billennials (as Univision calls bilingual millennials.) The series will be available only on Univision.com and on Univision’s YouTube channel, because as everybody knows, millennials are a lazy, pathetic bunch that cannot afford cable and won’t watch TV anyway.
Besides, given the excess amount of expletives, I’m sure it will be a headache trying to air this thing to on broadcast television.
Netflix will now offer many hours of some of the most beloved and highly-rated shows from the Univision classics such as Teresa, Maria la del Barrio, Lo Que La Vida Me Robó, Por Ella Soy Eva, La Viuda Negra and Rosa de Guadalupe. The lineup also features some of the Top 20 novelas of all time including La Fea Mas Bella, Cuidado con el Angel and Rubi.
Much has been written this week about the precipitous downfall of Venezuelan TV host Rodner Figueroa, who was fired from his high-paying job in Univision after making an inexcusable, racist comment about Michelle Obama live, during the superpopular daytime show El gordo y la flaca. More specifically — without mincing words — Figueroa compared the First Lady to someone from the cast of the Planet of the Apes movie.
Sure, Figueroa said something horrible. Yes, Univision did “the right thing” by reacting quickly and firing him “immediately” barely hours after he made the now infamous commentary.
But what many fail to see is that “The Figueroa Affair” is by no means new, nor shocking, at least for those of us who intimately know the ugly inners of Latin American — and U.S. Hispanic — media. As anthropologist Arlene Dávila wrote recently: “Sadly these types of comments are very common in Univision, and rarely regulated.”
While this is indeed true, is by no means limited to Univision. Take any television show in the U.S. (Univision, Telemundo, Azteca America, MundoFox;) Peru (SurPerú;) Mexico (Televisa, TV Azteca;) Venezuela, Colombia, etc. and you’ll see what I mean.
I grew up in Mexico City, and was always intrigued (not really shocked back then) to see that people on TV didn’t look at all like most people I saw on a daily basis. I mean, even the maids were all like, well-coiffed, blond actresses!
I dare you find a black actor or actress (yes, there are black people in Latin America;) an Indian (oh, yes, we have plenty) unless — of course — they are shown as objects of ridicule.
Want more? Take this promotional spot from Mexico’s media giant Grupo Televisa pretty much portraying Africans as a bunch of savages. Oh, did I mention Televisa is Univision’s partner, co-owner and provider of content?
See? Per the above examples, Africans (i.e. blacks) are savages, and Indians are pretty much non-existing. Thus, it was only natural that a local residencial developer in El Salvador this year used a light-skinned, blond family of three to pitch its “super affordable low-cost housing,” even though only a 0.1 percent of the population of El Salvador looks like these three.
Sure, pummeling Rodner Figueroa as if he were a Kim Kardashian piñata might feel like a good thing to do right now: It will make us feel great about ourselves as defenders of a racism-free world.
Just don’t forget: He is not the isolated racist weirdo they might have you believe in this wonderful universe that came to be known as Hispanic Media.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you must have noticed that everybody and their abuela have -for some reason- taken an unusual interest in fighting ALS by challenging one another to take the Ice Bucket Challenge, dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads.
Ok, so fine. Everybody wants their 30 seconds of fame while pretending to care about a noble cause. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but the Ice Bucket craziness has gotten so out of control, that Univision has jumped on it; not to donate to ALS, but to its own cause: the Televisa/Univision sanctioned TeletonUSA, an annual 24-plus-hour TV and radio broadcast to raise money for children’s rehabilitation centers.
Per an Aug. 21, 2014 tweet by Univision Sports anchor Félix Fernández, a donation of US$200 was deposited to the account of the Alcancía Digital (aka as the official account of TeletonUSA) upon taking the now famed Ice Bucket Challenge live, on camera and narrated by none other than Univision’s own Perro Bermúdez. [Watch the video here]
Here’s the original tweet by Univision Sports commentator Felix Fernández touting the deposit upon taking the Challenge,making it very clear that the funds were not deposited to ALS but to TeletonUSA.
I guess at this point everyone is entitled to dump cold water on their head and support whatever the hell they feel like supporting. I, for one, will take a freezing shower right now, just to clear my head from so much Internet silliness.
In the latest example that Hispanic-targeted marketing knows no limits, Subway Restaurants this week announced a partnership with Univision to “seamlessly integrate Subway products and restaurants into Televisa’s hit telenovela Qué pobres tan ricos (Poor, But Rich).
The first integration, say the partners, will show one of the characters surprising another with a Subway $5 Footlong.
Per a joint Univision-Subway press release:
“This integration allows us to reach Hispanic audiences in an engaging and authentic way,” says Gabriela Mangieri Harper, multicultural marketing manager at Subway.
I don’t know you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on a tiny plush version of La Popis or Doña Florinda, which I’m sure are all going to be Made-in-China, but isn’t everything Made-in-China these days?
This is exhausting! In addition to covering this week’s Hispanic TV Upfronts for these guys and these guys, I had to save some juicy details for the not-so-serious side of the 3-day-marathon of parties, parties and parties, programming presentations, interviews and business meetings.
* Hispanic TV Upfront week started May 13 with two networks, Azteca America and Estrella TV, holding “intimate dinners” at the exact same time in two very distant places, presumably to keep me from attending either. But, as you all know by now, I’m a sneaky Mexican and managed to attend both.
* Estrella TV brought to dinner at Tao Restaurant its most recent acquisition, Myrka Dellanos, who looked amazing and who is now going to be news anchoring instead of selling toothpaste.
* As it has been the case before, I crashed the People en Español party at Marquee, which was OK, but not nearly as as glamorous and/or fun as previous years. However, beggars can’t be chosers, so I shut up now. Besides, I must continue to be nice to them, especially to Elvis Lizardo, who famously calls me “The Mexican glue that keep us all together.”
* After surveilling the venue for some famous bellos, I realized celebrities are not the only beautiful bunch, so I proceded to propose People en Español Editor ArmandoCorrea a co-production of “Los 50 ejecutivos más bellos del mercado latino,” a list that would be curated by @miblogestublog -of course, and published and promoted by Time Inc. or someone with that kind of money. I’m thinking MundoFox’ Hernán López should go on the cover, while Telemundo’s Peter Blacker will take the back cover, though I’m still not sure. Other execs being considered: Mundo Fox’ Oswald Mendez, Telemundo’s Emilio Romano and Fusion’s Miguel Ferrer. [This blog is accepting submissions now.]
* Tuesday events kicked off at 11:00 am at The New Amsterdam Theatre, where Univision held a lavish presentation for over 1,600 guests.
* Pretty much all those 1,600 guests then walked or took buses to Univision’s after party, which took place at ESPACE, where there was not a lot of “espace” nor food to feed all those hungry mouths. At some point, many attendees grew restless and angry as waiter after waiter kept passing in front of us with trays full of food, but destined to “VIP’s only.” That didn’t stop me, however, so I quickly managed to get a hold of a VERY VIP name tag (above) in order to secure some mini-burgers.
* The stunt didn’t work and I had to settle for a peanut butter cookie that surely contained about 5,325 calories.
* Since it secured me no food whatsoever, my Randy Falco name tag made a second appearance later that night at the Telemundo upfront in Lincoln Center, where it was not as well received as I had imagined. I still wore it to go say ‘hi’ to NBCU’s Chairman of Hispanic Ventures Joe Uva, who requested my immediate removal from the premises. [I stayed.]
* The marathon continued Wednesday with a noon presentation by Fox Hispanic Media at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. The presentation included FHM’s four networks: Fox Deportes, Fox Life, Nat Geo Mundo and Mundo Fox. It attracted some big talent, including Bárbara Mori, Marlon Moreno, Mario Lopez and Oscar de la Hoya, who came onstage not wearing fishnet stockings but a pair of cowboy boots.
* After a presentation that seemed to last hours, most of us headed East towards Vme’s upfront at the Instituto Cervantes. Under new management, Vme hosted a small, intimate, sit-down presentation in a dark basement with no cellular signal whatsoever, making it the perfect setting for a much needed afternoon nap. (I caught several executives and members of the media happily snoring away, but I decided not to publish their names, mostly because it wouldn’t be fair and because I was also fast asleep.)
* The marathon ended Wednesday night with a much-needed, circus-themed party hosted by Viacom’s Tr3s and headlined by Daddy Yankee, who made even the most stiff media executive shake his/her hips. EXTRA BONUS POINT for Tr3s, which spared us the power points and the data on Hispanic TV audience growth, etc. etc. etc.
Yet, my favorite moment this week came at the Tr3s party when I was able to capture the following shot, featuring the great Eduardo Caballero, the father, grandfather, godfather of Hispanic media, and Ari Madrid, probably the craziest -and smartest- millennial I’ve ever met and one of the youngest entrants to this business.
Caballero changed the media world once. Ari will change it forever.
You can say anything you want about Enrique Peña Nieto, but the guy is not only bien guapote, but he managed to get himself a telenovela babe to arrive with a real splash. Meet Angélica Rivera (aka La Gaviota) and from now on Mexico’s First Lady. Enjoy while you can. I’m sure this image will not last long in the cyberspace.
Unless you live under a tanning bed rock, you’ve surely read by now all about the alleged fake tan sported by Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney at this week’s Meet the Candidate forum on Univision. [Or, as Wonkette put it so appropriately: How Romney donned a brown face “to appear on forum with Mexicans.”
The potential of a ‘spraytanned Romney’ was so hilarious, that many failed to see the irony behind the effort. I think it doesn’t matter if Mr. Romney’s tan was fake or actually real as Univision/ABC later reported. The funniest thing to this blogger is how -with or without a tan- Mr. Romney would have been the darkest of the three people onstage.