Home > Uncategorized > Devious Maids–Is it Good for Latinos?

Devious Maids–Is it Good for Latinos?

devm_promo_03The new Lifetime series Devious Maids debuted last night amid a swirl of controversy. The show, brought to cable by Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and co-produced by actress Eva Longoria, follows the stories of five LA maids. Click here to watch Sunday’s pilot episode in English or Spanish; it’ll be available for viewing later today. Read show recap here.

Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria

Like the award-winning movie The Help, Devious Maids has become a lightning rod for discussion of women of color in Hollywood. Is playing a maid the only decent role for a black or brown actress on the big and small screen? Twenty million Latinas live in the U.S.–so why focus the only show featuring five Hispanic actresses–and a Latina writer and executive producer–on domestics? Maybe because that’s the scenario the mostly-white elite who run Hollywood are most comfortable with–the Latin American men and women who clean their homes, take care of their children and tend their gardens. But what about the millions of Hispanic doctors, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and a Supreme Court justice!?


On the other hand, why not air a show that features five smart, gorgeous, hard-working Latinas that highlights the stories of this country’s millions of domestic workers? Maybe the series doesn’t exploit the stereotype, but turns it on its head. The white employers are more one-dimensional and unrealistic than the flesh and blood maids! And as the Oscar-winning actress Hattie McDaniel famously said, “I’d rather play a maid than be one.”

Follow the debate here.

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