Disney’s “Primos,” does it Promote Stereotypes, or are we Over-Watching Children’s Productions?

The new Disney+ series suffered various criticisms regarding Latino stereotypes. Is it something real, or are we sharpening our eyes on these series? We tell you about the case of Disney’s “Primos.”.

Still from the series 'Cousins'

Photo: Disney Studios

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: “Primos” de Disney ¿Promueve los estereotipos o estamos sobre vigilando las producciones infantiles?

Disney was involved in a new controversy. This time, the cause was “Primos,” the new series launched by this company. This children’s production was described in social networks as a “new progressive story” by Disney, with “forced inclusions.” However, at the same time, it was repudiated for having “racial stereotypes” about Latino families. Is Disney’s “Primos” harmful?

So what’s the series about? Created by artist Natasha Kline, it centers on Tater Ramirez Humphrey. She is a 10-year-old girl who is of Mexican descent but lives in Los Angeles. Thanks to the help of her 12 cousins, who move in with her for the summer, she begins to discover who she is and what she aspires to.

The Controversies of Disney’s “Primos”

But then, where are the problems? They start from the very choice of the neighborhood where the protagonist lives, called “Terremoto Heights.” Mexican users of social networks mentioned that it was a “mockery” of the natural tragedies that occur in some areas of the country.

Another aspect that generated more hate was the aesthetics of the series. The Mexican families in “Primos” live in places that do not have high standards of cleanliness and uncomfortable situations, mainly because they are large families and do not have enough comfort regarding habitability.

Even the very opening musical sequence of the series generated a great deal of controversy. In this song, the phrase “Hey, cousins” is heard. The correct word would be “Hey, cousins.” This criticism was added to the previous ones since it is understood that the creators did not understand anything about Latin culture, not even its language!

However, its creator, Natasha Kline, explained that the inclusion of this phrase was done on purpose. The author mentioned that Tater, the main character of this story, needs to speak Spanish fluently. The problem is that the public did not have the same interpretation, as they thought it was a covert criticism of the Latin language.

At the same time, the director explained the reasons for the name “Terremoto Heights.” Although it was a joke about earthquakes, it was not directed at Mexico. It was because Los Angeles is an area susceptible to these natural catastrophes. The very appearance of the neighborhood is similar to that of this city, with palm trees and beaches.

Read also: Review of “The Little Mermaid”: Better than Expected… But Not Enough

Is it Discrimination, or are we Policing these Works too Much

While it is essential to point out and address any form of discrimination in audiovisual productions, we must also be careful not to fall into excessive overinterpretation that distorts the real message of a work, mainly because it may affect the authors’ freedom of expression.

SSensitivity and awareness about fair and accurate representation are essential. However, we must allow creators the freedom to explore different narratives and characters without being constantly “under the magnifying glass.” Especially if these are emotional issues or ones that may have second interpretations.

In addition, Disney’s case is quite peculiar. Users of social networks seemed to agree that Disney was discriminating against the creation of “Primos.” However, in other adaptations, they speak of “forced inclusion.” One example was the criticism “The Little Mermaid” received, in which the main character does not have the same appearance as her animated counterpart.

But what would happen if “The Little Mermaid” had a 100% faithful adaptation? There would have been criticism for not representing other races. The same happens with “Primos” because if there were no references to the Latino culture, it would also be accused of being “discriminatory.”

Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a balanced approach and avoid over-surveillance that could lead to misunderstandings about the creators’ intentions. We must know the importance of diversity and inclusion, artistic freedom, and subjective interpretation in entertainment.

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