News, Culture & Society

Reality show about wealthy Mexicans triggers backlash for featuring mainly light-skinned socialites

A new Netflix reality series is the subject of an online backlash after the cast was revealed to be nine wealthy light-skinned socialites, some of which were not even born in the country it’s based on.

Made in Mexico follows the lavish lives of a Mexico City set but critics say the focus on the rich has come at the wrong time and the show’s stars don’t represent the what the average Mexican person looks like.

The tone-deaf move has seen Twitter users hit back at the streaming service and producers for planning to broadcast what they deem as grossly inappropriate.

Hanna Jaff, is a 30-year-old, San Diego-born Mexican philanthropist, speaker and human rights activist and appears on the show

Liz Woodburn is a food blogger who left New York to start a new life in Mexico with her fiance. Chantal Truillo (right) is another USA blogger who used to work at Vogue

Liz Woodburn is a food blogger who left New York to start a new life in Mexico with her fiance. Chantal Truillo (right) is another USA blogger who used to work at Vogue

Liz Woodburn is a food blogger who left New York to start a new life in Mexico with her fiance. Chantal Truillo (right) is another USA blogger who used to work at Vogue

‘#MadeinMexico could have been a series with an episode dedicated to each of the 31 states, that focused on the people, culture, food, music, agriculture, and history of each to show Mexico’s diversity to the world but hey! more rich white people!’ Daria wrote. 

It comes just over a month after the country overwhelmingly elected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as president. The left wing 64-year-old who won votes with his promise to prioritize poor people.

He feel corruption is to blame for approximately half the country being under the poverty line, reports Associated Press. 

Made in Mexico centers around TV host, actor and model Carlos Girón Longoria

Made in Mexico centers around TV host, actor and model Carlos Girón Longoria

 

Roby Checa (left) is Kitzia's brother-in-law. Pepe Díaz (right) is a successful businessman

Roby Checa (left) is Kitzia's brother-in-law. Pepe Díaz (right) is a successful businessman

Roby Checa (left) is Kitzia’s brother-in-law. Pepe Díaz (right) is a successful businessman

Manual Ibarra posted: ‘Great, another netflix show about rich white mexicans (0.1% of our population). Absolute garbage.’

Twitter users aren’t the only ones outraged at the idea of the series, author Guadalupe Loaeza, explained that skin tone has big value attached to it in Mexico. 

‘In the last elections we showed that we live in a democratic country. Nonetheless, we still suffer terrible atavisms related to classism and, what’s worse, racism,’ Loaeza, who has written many books about the top, said.  ‘More than money, the color of one’s skin is definitive … for whether one is accepted or not among the ‘rich boys and girls.”

While producers of the show have kept quiet and didn’t respond to AP’s multiple requests for comment, Hanna Jaff, a 30-year-old cast member, had something to say.

Born in San Diego, the Mexican philanthropist, speaker and human rights activist, disagreed that her fellow screen stars are not representative.

Made in Mexico lands September 28 on Netflix but not everyone is happy about it

Made in Mexico lands September 28 on Netflix but not everyone is happy about it

She believes portraying them for the family people with different backgrounds and professions they are, viewers may be able to relate on a level that everyone has problems, regardless of the class system.

Haff is keen for the show to offer up a positive perspective after shows like Narcos: Mexico, the new offering from Netflix this August that takes the focus away from Colombia, highlight the violent crime and drugs.

Then El Chapo adds to the stereotype with its tale about notorious Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera.

‘I wanted the world to see a different Mexico, from a different point of view,’ she reasoned. ‘I think there will always be negative and positive people, no? … And in truth, the program is not a stereotype.’

Jaff says this despite the app description teasing the show reading: ‘Get to know the opulent lifestyles and infamous dynasties of Mexico City’s socialites and the expats vying for a spot in their exclusive social order.’ 

Those boycotting the show don’t feel the same way with anger towards it being in English-language clearly catering to the wealthier. It something that is commonly a grievance done in magazines and advertising.

Even in Spanish-speaking telenovelas expensive weddings, homes and events are overdone for a huge chunk of the country.

El Chapo adds to the stereotype with its tale about notorious Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera (pictured)

El Chapo adds to the stereotype with its tale about notorious Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera (pictured)

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a left wing 64-year-old who won votes with his promise to prioritize poor people

President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a left wing 64-year-old who won votes with his promise to prioritize poor people

To add insult, aside from Jaff other members of the cast is recognized as American.

Blonde Liz Woodburn is a food blogger who left New York to start a new life in Mexico with her fiance. 

Chantal Truillo is another USA blogger who used to work at Vogue. 

Referring to them as ‘mirreyes’ roughly translating to ‘my little kings’, author Loaeza said it’s a reflection of the social media influencers obsessed with parading the wealth or what at least seems to be privilege.

The vulgarity is something many are keen to get away from as President Enrique Pena Nieto rounds out his term in November, leaving a legacy stained by corruption.

So despite the criticism in a country of stark social and economic contrasts – where telecoms magnate 

Mexico is one of the places known for the vast gap between rich and poor.

Carlos Slim (pictured February 2011) was the richest person in the world from 2010-2013 according to Forbes, with his net worth $66.3billion now

Carlos Slim (pictured February 2011) was the richest person in the world from 2010-2013 according to Forbes, with his net worth $66.3billion now

Carlos Slim was the richest person in the world from 2010-2013 according to Forbes, with his net worth $66.3billion now. But on the other side of the coin however Chiapas and Oaxaca live in ramshackle homes.

While many won’t be watching out of principle come September 28, others are intrigued, even if they don’t agree with the message.

‘I think that precisely because most of the population is so far from that, it makes people really curious about what it feels like to be in that person’s place,’ Jorge Romero, a 25-year-old Netflix user shared.

Christopher Alcantara, 32, wants to see what trends come from the show and quite frankly, the business administrator finds this time of programming entertaining.

He admitted: ‘Morbidity sells, and without a doubt it would be very interesting to watch a pilot episode.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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