Unrealistic storylines do not justify the unrealistic representation of Latinx communities.
By Ruby Mora Telenovelas, or Latin American soap operas, are and have been incredibly popular within the Latinx community for decades, with millions of viewers watching hundreds of different ones that normally center around subjects like forbidden love, a la Romeo and Juliet, complete with betrayal, lust, deceit, acceptance, and family values. Unlike their U.S. counterparts like General Hospital and One Life to Live, new episodes of telenovelas aired every weekday and end after only a few seasons – compared to the ever-long U.S. soaps – giving Latinx families a daily tradition, as well as conversation fodder.
Growing up I watched them with my grandma, and even when we got to the end of one, there’s always at least one other one that we ended up watching right after. However, around my early 20s, I began to notice how white-passing the majority of the actors are, outside of the very few actors cast in minuscule roles that actually represent the diversity of the community.