11:22 am - 07/28/2013

'Welcome to the Family’ Cast Talk Latino Representation & Devious Maids

TCA: NBC’s ‘Welcome to the Family’ Raises Latino Questions

The question of Latino representation on network TV came up quickly at the start of NBC’s Television Critics Assn. press tour on Saturday, which opened with a sesh on sitcom “Welcome to the Family,” about the culture clash between an Anglo and Latino family brought together by a pregnancy.

Latinos have a responsibility to speak up about the lack of Latino characters in primetime, “Family” thesp Justina Machado asserted.

We as Latinos have to speak up more,” she said. “We don’t exist as much as we’d like to see each other.” Noting the growing clout of Latinos in many aspects of American culture, she observed: “I always like to say, ‘We put Obama over’ ” in the 2012 presidential election.

Family” co-star Ricardo Chavira said the focus needs to be on getting more rounded Latino characters, such as the father he plays in the multi-generational loafers. “When we exist we often exist in the realm of specific stereotypes,” he said. The biz needs to make an effort to “get away from them.”

Chavira was pressed by journos for his opinion on the new LIfetime drama “Devious Maids,” produced by two of his former colleagues on “Desparate Housewives,” Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria. He demurred at first, saying that the show revolving around maids working for wealthy families has some “absolutely wonderful elements.” He acknowledged the accomplishment of his former colleagues but said “myself personally I have a couple of issues with it, that’s all.”

“Family” creator Mike Sikowitz emphasized that his intention was not to create another Archie Bunker type with the character played by Mike O’Malley but to mine the universal humor of family relationships.

O’Malley joked: “I want to talk about how Irish-Americans are portrayed on TV.”

'Welcome to the Family' to Bring More Positive Latino Characters to Primetime

NBC introduces its new comedy series Welcome to the Family on October 3 and at the Television Critics Association Press Day, the cast and creator of the show talked about how the show will help break some stereotypes. Many of those on stage talked about the lack of positive Latino roles on primetime television and all hoped that the new series will go a long way toward making a difference.

In Welcome to the Family, two families have to learn to get along when teen pregnancy makes them one family. The series stars Mike O'Malley (Glee, Justified), Mary McCormack (In Plain Sight), Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives), and Justina Machado (Private Practice).

Bringing Two Different Types of Families Together

Executive Producer Mike Sikowitz spoke about how he got the idea for the show when out running errands a few years ago. He said he was in a store with his then 3-year-old son and watched as his little boy began playing with another little boy, who happened to be Latino. Sikowitz found himself talking to the other child's father and it made him realize that, with all of the different people there were in the world, he probably never would've met the other man had it not been for their children.

From there, the idea grew to bringing two culturally different families (one Caucasian and one Latino) together for a bigger reason than just two children wanting to play. That is when the idea of the teen pregnancy began and became the basis of the script.

Sikowitz said he wanted to do a show "that reflects Los Angeles and the rest of the world," and represent the Latino community in a way that is unfortunately not seen beyond the multitude of stereotypes that are seen on TV.

How are Latinos Portrayed on TV?

As the mother of the son who is father of the baby to come, star Justina Machado said that she was very happy to be a part of the show and that Latinos needed to say that they want to see themselves more on TV. "We have to speak up about it."

Playing her husband on the show, star Ricardo Chavira said, "When we exist, we exist in the realm of certain stereotypes." He added that while some of those stereotypes are unavoidable and will make an appearance on the show, they will not be the foundation of the series.

Asked how he felt about how the Latino community was being portrayed in Devious Maids (which has been the cause of some controversy on the subject), Chavira said, "I have a couple issues with it."

Overall, the cast and crew promised that the heart of the story will ultimately be the love between the two teenagers.

source, 2,

LOL @ ricardo chavira trying to be diplomatic. 
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fromyourashes 28th-Jul-2013 02:13 pm (UTC)
I love everyone in this cast. And I like that it's not the stereotypical teen latina getting pregnant, but the white girl, tbh. Hopefully, this isn't as over the top as Sullivan and Son. That show is a fucking mess.
butterfly_cafe 28th-Jul-2013 02:23 pm (UTC)
vardoeger 28th-Jul-2013 02:17 pm (UTC)
I'm wary whenever an entire show, not just one episode or a act, hinges on poking fun at racial differences.

Also, nunca olvidaré:

miami_88 28th-Jul-2013 02:18 pm (UTC)
I'm sure that Black complexioned Hispanics need not apply.
jbymy 28th-Jul-2013 02:20 pm (UTC)
fromyourashes 28th-Jul-2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
You know that they'll eventually introduce Tio Miguel, who comes from the ~other~ side of the family.
pamelalillian 28th-Jul-2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
abuelita had a kid with el lechero or something smh
pamelalillian 28th-Jul-2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
was coming here just to say... i am still not represented so...
blacktinbox 28th-Jul-2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
girl this truth.
cricketgrl 28th-Jul-2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
Just because Chiavarra and cast aren't dark enough for your preference?

That's just stupid and insensitive. I see many Italian Americans represented as lilly white Wasps for years, none that reflect the dark southern Italian like myself. Doesn't mean they aren't just as Italian as I am.

Plus, aren't most Latins Mestizo or White?
iamalreadyinuse 28th-Jul-2013 02:20 pm (UTC)
that was a really cute trailer until the mom got pregnant too. ugh.
klutzy_girl 28th-Jul-2013 03:22 pm (UTC)
LOL, I love cliches like that, tbh (Father of the Bride Part 2 is one of my favorite movies) so that just made me want to watch more.

And we don't know for sure whether she's pregnant or not yet. The mom could just be taking the test because she suspects she might be (but who am I kidding. LOL, she most likely is pregnant).
fionaapple 28th-Jul-2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
Justina Machado is flawless, I miss SFU everyday
ms_mmelissa 28th-Jul-2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
This looks terrible so I'll probably end up watching it.

LOL @ Serena's cousin being the teen mom.
manu19 28th-Jul-2013 02:51 pm (UTC)
cancelled by ep 7
cricketgrl 28th-Jul-2013 05:36 pm (UTC)
Yup. It reminds me much of the New Normal. People don't like realistic approaches to subjects like this. They'd rather see offensive silly stereotypes.
peddlestools 28th-Jul-2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
"i have a couple of issues with it"

i came here hoping tea would be spilled tbh, not here for diplomacy
goddlesssinner 28th-Jul-2013 02:53 pm (UTC)
Man, as a Latina young adult, watching the trailer I cannot connect with anyone of these characters.
grande_latte 28th-Jul-2013 02:55 pm (UTC)
cuz you know if you got preggers it wouldnt be like WHAT?


and then they'd threaten to kick you out for letting the fmaily down etc etc but then they'd get over it.
goddlesssinner 28th-Jul-2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
OMG HAHAAHAHHAH no, I just think this is weird. I live in a major city so I know my life experiences are the same than other city kids have.

Also, I don't want to imagine the day I come home and tell my parents I'm pregnant. God, I hope that never happens.
pamelalillian 28th-Jul-2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
lmfao the whole pregnancy would be hell on earth about how you have ruined EVERYTHING and then when the baby comes you created a miracle but nobody cares about you, your child is the PROTOTYPE ANGEL and you are the demonic mother not knowing how to properly take care of this creature from heaven
itspokerface 28th-Jul-2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
lol ya sé verdad? accurate
layla618 29th-Jul-2013 02:47 am (UTC)
omg LMAO This is so on point, I can't even!

/typing from the grave
cricketgrl 28th-Jul-2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
Sometimes I believe it depends on what generation you are.

5+ Generation Latins will probably gravitate towards this because they tend to lose their ethnicity and blend in with Anglo communities.
grande_latte 28th-Jul-2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
those actors better be latino like forreal
goddlesssinner 28th-Jul-2013 03:01 pm (UTC)
well, even if they're not, at least they look like cliche latinos so that's step forward.
miami_88 28th-Jul-2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
The world and Hollywood expects Latinos to look the part..you know..pale skin, straight hair and Latin features.
fancypiink 28th-Jul-2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
chavira is mexican
machado is puerto rican
idk about the younger actor
poop_of_death 28th-Jul-2013 03:02 pm (UTC)
Ricardo Chavira could get it as could Mike O'Malley circa 1992
cricketgrl 28th-Jul-2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
klutzy_girl 28th-Jul-2013 03:10 pm (UTC)
I love all of the adult cast so I'll check it out!
her_historia 28th-Jul-2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
I like how Justina emphasizes that Latinos have to speak up about representation. It's such a contrast from what Marc Anthony said.

This show looks interesting, so I'll check it out initially for support.
pamelalillian 28th-Jul-2013 05:02 pm (UTC)
what did marc say
blacktinbox 28th-Jul-2013 05:07 pm (UTC)
that tv executives are not responsible for portraying Latinos in a more positive light. Latinos have to direct, write and produce those characters themselves if they want them. because obviously there are so many Latinos in the position to do that at widescale dontchakno
setsuna16 28th-Jul-2013 03:29 pm (UTC)
I'm kinda sad that Eddie's adopted on Devious Maids. I was all for him being bi-racial, like me.
nautical_notes 28th-Jul-2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
I kind of hate these kind of shows. It's like you're 18, get an abortion, end of show.
fagsindubai 28th-Jul-2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
something is wrong with you
nautical_notes 28th-Jul-2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
I mean, probably.
grande_latte 29th-Jul-2013 02:46 am (UTC)
youre obviously not latino
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