This week’s Cafe y Conversa meeting dealt with the sexualization of Latinas in the US, the erasure of Latinx people in the media, and politics concerns from Latin America.
Shakira and J.Lo
Last week, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez were announced as the Pepsi halftime performers in the 2020 Super Bowl, which prompted discussion of Latinas and their culture being sexualized by the media.
While women have always been seen as sexual objects by the media, Latinas often are more likely to be portrayed as provocative, according to Assistant Professor of Spanish-Language Media Ezequiel Korin and Director of Internships Claudia Cruz.
Super Bowl LIV is taking place in Miami, Fla., leaving people wondering if the choice was related to the location since the city is a hub for Latin American culture, with roughly 39.8 percent of the city being Spanish-speaking. It has also been the center of racial tensions among different Latinx communities.
Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro was excluded from the most recent Saturday Night Live Democratic Town Hall skit. Candidates like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and seven others were included in the parody, even Marianne Williamson, who did not qualify for the last debate. Castro is the only Latino candidate in the 2020 race.
This initiated a conversation about the lack of Latino representation in the media. Comedian Cristela Alonzo spoke in support on Castro.
“The erasure of Julian Castro on SNL last night and the constant confusion of the twins in news shows us the true problem of representation,” She tweeted. “SNL refuses to admit brown people exist and the news media is supposed to report FACTS yet can’t make sure the correct twin is covered.”
Joaquin Castro, the candidate’s twin brother, said he would play him on the show if they cannot find someone to be him.
SNL is not the only show that has drawn criticism for its lack of Latinx depictions. Earlier this year, Netflix canceled the show “One Day at a Time”, which featured a Latinx family and their struggles.
Latin American Politics
Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra and the opposition-controlled congress are having a power struggle over who is to govern the country.
Vizcarra dissolved the nations congress on Monday, Sept. 30, and called for new elections to take place. The congress then announced that they voted in one of Peru’s vice presidents, Mercedes Aráoz, to take over, but she renounced the position.
2020 is approaching, and with it comes a new U.S. Census, which can tell us more about the people in the country, according to Korin. The data obtained in the new census may hold information that can help tell how relevant the Latinx vote will be in the upcoming presidential election.
Cafe y Conversa takes place every Wednesday from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Reynolds School of Journalism.
Madeleine Chinery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush