Devious Maids: A Mess of Stereotypes? Or a Tidy Solution to TV's Lack of Diversity?
Already, the women of Devious Maids have got a mess to clean up.
Just days before the new Lifetime series is set to premiere (this Sunday at 10/9c), a few eyebrows have raised about the Latina stereotypes the show might be portraying.
Based on the Mexican telenovela Ellas Son La Alegría Del Hogar (They Are the Joy of Home), Devious Maids follows four Latina housekeepers who work for the rich and famous of Beverly Hills while harboring dreams and ambitions of their own. One Huffington Post columnist called the series a “wasted opportunity” to diversify Latin women on television, saying: “The minute-long trailer manages to efficiently portray Latinas as hypersexual, nosy, scheming and, at times, totally invisible domestic servants, one set of pushed-up breasts, devilishly squinted eyes and sassy hair flip at a time.”
But Desperate Housewives alum Eva Longoria, an executive producer on the show, has defended Maids from the beginning, saying it is simply a realistic portrayal of Latinas in America — and a needed one, at that.
“When we get any sort of backlash for — ‘Oh, they’re playing the stereotypical maids’ — my immediate response is, ‘So you’re telling me those stories aren’t worth telling? That those people are ‘lesser than’, … that they have no complexity in their life because they’re a maid?’” Longoria told HuffPo.
Longoria also stressed, in an E! News interview, that the lead characters represent “the moral compass of the show and that they’re really the heroes.” Plus, the casting, coupled with her involvement, hands an all-to-rare “opportunity to five Latinas to have a voice” on a primetime series.
What do you think of the Maids mess? Is the show at risk of promoting stereotypes, or is it merely a realistic representation — plus a much-needed blast of diversity? Hit the comments.Follow @rebeccaiannucci