Why need to support Bordertown and Lalo Alcaraz

bordertown_racismThe saying goes: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all?” And that applies to supporting our fellow artists that are out there trying to create and take advantage of opportunities in their lives and careers.

As minorities in the U.S. we’ve been trained from an early age to not celebrate our brothers and sisters’ triumphs. We’re crabs in a bucket pulling each other down. It’s become part of our nature — but it doesn’t have to be that way.

I have to say that I’m not a 100% fan of Fox’s Bordertown (at least for now, it may get better). But my big beef is with FOX – for the reason that instead of giving Lalo Alcaraz HIS OWN show, they opt to bring him into an existing show (created by a White writer). Still, better to take that opportunity than not have any Latinos at all on the show (like a lot of other so-called “Latino” shows).

Lalo is doing the best he can with the opportunities given, and no one can judge him unless they have walked in his shoes. Jay-Z said it best in a song “…the critics, they tell you how to do it, but they never did it.” So unless you’ve been in a room full of privileged, straight-outta ivy-league college, passive-aggressive racist writers, then you really can’t say how things should or should not be.

And the reason race is an issue in this matter its because it would be very unlikely that they would let a Latino writer create an Asian show or an Irish show or an American White show for that matter. So how come White writers are able to create “Latino” shows? It doesn’t make sense.

We need to support anyone doing something about it. We don’t have to agree or even like their product, but we must respect their hustle. And again, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!

Here are my two cents on the matter:

Straight Outta Compton NWA Movie Conspiracy [PODCAST]

Why were the White writers of the Straight Outta Compton chosen? This is one of the questions that we explore in this podcast episode. Listen below, and make sure you subscribe on iTunes.

Did You Know the Writers of the Straight Outta Compton Movie Are White?

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Did you know that the Straight Outta Compton writers are White? Well, they are. Does it matter? Who knows! But it sure raises a lot of questions about who gets what opportunities in Hollywood.Andrea Berloff Straight Outta ComptonJonathan Herman Straight Outta Compton

It’s already bad enough that the group N.W.A. is surrounded by conspiracy regarding its creation. But what I personally don’t understand is why would a White Male and a White Female be interested in telling what seems to be an obvious ‘Black’ story? However, what baffles me even more is this… is there not ONE Black writer in the world that could have done the job just as well?

The writers for Straight Outta Compton are Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff. Two people (regardless of race) that couldn’t be more disconnected from Gangsta Rap – or the Black experience, even.

I rant a bit about this issue in this video below… I would love to get some answers. Is it racism? Or are White writers just more talented?

Does Donald Trump Deserve His Freedom of Speech?

donald trump freedom of speech

It’s easy to attack Donald Trump nowadays. He seems to be always putting his foot in his mouth. But is it his right to do so? Should he be allowed to think however he wants to think and say whatever he wants to say? Or if it’s uncomfortable, should we stop him from talking? I talk a bit about his alleged freedom of speech in this podcast episode.

Listen to the episode below and make sure you subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Bordertown Writer Lalo Alcaraz Interview

lalo alacaraz bordertown

Award-winning cartoonist and writer Lalo Alcaraz talks about being a writer for FOX’s new show Bordertown. The show has caused controversy because of its ‘racially-challenged’ feeling (read about it here).

Watch the interview here, or download the audio podcast below.

Seth MacFarlane’s Bordertown…

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bordertown is racistIs Bordertown Racist? Excuse my Spanish, but… What the f*** does Seth MacFarlane know about living at the border? What the f*** does Mark Hentemann know about being Mexican? If you don’t know, these are the executive producers of the Fox animated series “Bordertown.” Two White guys, that even White guys think they’re “too White”.

In this entertainment industry not too many people know the truth, let alone tell it. I used to not speak up because I was afraid how it could affect me one day.  I’m done!  F*** it!!! They can’t keep manipulating the growing majority of the population with sub-par attempts at ridicule disguising it under the “it’s funny” umbrella of stereotypical stupidity.

Why did Fox think that the Whitest guy they know can produce a show that features a Mexican family living at the border? Well, it’s the same Fox that thought that Seth MacFarlane could also produce the “The Cleveland Show”, which featured a Black family living in Virginia. <<- You can read all about my beef with that show here as well.

Look, I really like Family Guy. It’s one of my favorite shows. But I don’t like it because it’s a “White” show… instead, I love it because it’s an “anti-establishment” show. Family Guy is about a White family living the way they want to live, and it’s usually wrong — and that’s hilarious! But that show is funny because it has something “real” to the concept. It lives within certain parameters of truth. Real stereotypes are funny. I’m all for ridiculing stereotypes in order to show how dumb they really are at times.

But an issue I have with a show like this Bordertown, is that they’ve engaged real, talented Latinos to be a part of it, in order to give “validity” to their degenerate proposition of entertainment. Talented, gifted Latinos in the likes of Lalo Alcaraz (click here to listen to my interview with Lalo), Gustavo Arellano and Valentina Garza fall into the ONLY opportunity out there to reach the mainstream. Unfortunately, this Bordertown show is NOT THEIR SHOW! Their power is limited and their creative prowess is stumped by the real players behind the curtain – MacFarlane and Hentemann.

But what did you expect? It’s not Lalo, Gustavo or Valentina’s fault. They have no choice! Fox would never give them their own show. There’s not a network out there brave, or willing, enough to give real Latinos a platform to reach millions and millions of viewers – all on their own. That would never happen!! They always need that ‘all-powerful White image’ to supervise what they’re doing, and with good reason — because imagine the political implications of real issues being brought to light through comedy and entertainment??? Hmmm… Elections are won or lost through these platforms. Real Latinos have no place in creating the real content, or so think the big Networks. Instead, they’re given “associate producer” or “consulting producer” or “bullshit-taker” positions in order to appease all the real Latinos that will be offended by this garbage being put out.

LATINOS: “This is a racist show!”

NETWORK: “This can’t be a racist show, because Lalo Alcaraz is a part of it!”

I see right through all the smoke and mirrors and I hope smart Latinos will, too. In fact, I hope this Bordertown show is funny and successful and goes on for many seasons so that at least Lalo, Gustavo and Valentina can get paid! <–That’s about all the good I see coming out of this Bordertown project.

My point? This show is garbage. I’ve actually have read the scripts for the show, and trust me, it’s worse than what it looks like.

Funny, how the show its supposed to be funny, but the real joke is on the audience.

I had a chance to interview Lalo Alcaraz, click here for the interview. I’m out.

I leave you the trailer here in case you enjoy their attempt…

Race and Culture Bias in the TV Industry

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Race and Culture play a big part of the TV Industry. Not only what is broadcasted, but also the inside politics are usually racially and culturally charged.

I go more in depth in this episode. Listen here:

Animated Racism – Double Standards in Television Networks

cleveland showWho’s allowed to make fun of you? That’s what it comes down to in television political correctness. This post isn’t to debate the rights and wrongs of racism, but instead I’d like to point out the double-standards of the acceptability of racism in television. I personally think that the right amount of racism at the right time could be quite funny. Sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves in order to realize that maybe we could improve our behavior.

But who’s allowed to make fun of an individual or group of people? Could a White person make fun of a Black or Latino person – without repercussions?  Well, it already happens all the time in Family Guy and South Park. On the other side of the coin, could a Latino or Black person make fun of Asians? or Middle Easterners? or White People? Yes, of course, but you only see that in comedy clubs and random clips online. Which brings me to my point… Everyone makes fun of everyone, BUT, Whites have a bigger stage to poke fun at other races, while in contrast, the rest of us have a limited reach.

The most popular animated shows on FOX are all predominantly written by Whites. Once in a while (if not more often) you’ll see a racist joke here and there, and I don’t see a problem with that. I actually find some of it funny; BUT, my issue is that other races lack the opportunity to have that huge FOX stage to do the same thing in return.

For example, Seth MacFarlane is given the opportunity to have Family Guy on the air – and I loved what that show has done for adult comedy animation. It basically took the Simpsons and made it seem like a Nickelodeon kid’s show. Yet, when it’s time to replicate the success of Family Guy, one of the other shows that Seth MacFarlane develops is The Cleveland Show. Why!?

Out of so many great characters ready for a spin-off from Family Guy, they choose the Black caricature?  Were they trying to attract a Black audience? If so, it didn’t work. I don’t know many of my Black friends that watch The Cleveland Show. Still, the show is so similar to Family Guy that I have never even found my own interest or taken the time to actually watch it.

richardappel_mikehenry_sethmacfarlaneYet… what I’m getting at is that they have the White showrunners – Seth MacFarlane, Mike Henry and Richard Appel – developing a Black caricature. To me this is the equivalent of Blackface in cartoon form. They make a Black character for White people to laugh at. Is this okay? Nobody seems to care, mainly because “it’s only a cartoon”.

What if the same thing happened in real life, and there were White guys with their faces painted Black on prime-time TV? Would it be okay then? What’s the difference right now? Cleveland’s face is painted black, isn’t it? He’s created and portrayed by White guys, isn’t he?cleveland black stereotype

Well, I’m not one for censorship. If people want to be racist, I rather they’d be racist to my face than behind my back. What I don’t stand for is the inequality of opportunity to have “all-inclusive” racism in television. Is it possible for a Black or Latino have the same stage and do the same thing? FOX doesn’t seem to think so. If there’s going to be a Latino animated show, they will probably have Seth MacFarlane be the showrunner, and they’ll just tell him “You do it, Seth. You’ve met Latinos before. Do a show about them, too.”

The other half of the problem is that the smaller Black and Latino TV networks are so busy trying to mimic the larger White networks that they would never create something as original as Family Guy.  A lot of these smaller TV networks that supposedly target Blacks or Latinos operate out of pure pandering, and are usually ran by White executives that don’t understand the culture they’re targeting. Overall, there’s a lack of real vision and risk-taking in the part of these outlets, which in turn affects all of us minorities, since our voices are hampered and smothered by gutless, bland, and unoriginal programming. It saddens me to see great potential distribution become a waste of broadcast time.

Back to my initial question, who’s allowed to make fun of you? The answer: It’s up to you. We all have our own tolerance gage. Yet, I believe in fighting fire with fire. I don’t want to shut down The Cleveland Show for being racist. I rather create something that will equally compete and let the viewers decide how much of it they want. That’s how my new animated show “Counterfit” came to be. Counterfit is a show about a guy with nothing to lose, and fixing injustices his way. 

new_counter_aloneMost people that have been discriminated in their lives find Counterfit hilarious. Why? Because they understand why he acts the way he acts. On the other hand, there are some people who find Counterfit uncomfortable to watch – and this is something I like. When Alfonso Amey and I were throwing this idea around, we knew that it would have an impact – not necessarily all positive – but an impact, nonetheless.

Because the reality is, why is it okay for Family Guy and other White animations to portray Latinos and Blacks in a stereotypical fashion, but when it’s time to reverse the roles and portray Whites in a weaker position, it immediately becomes “uncomfortable”?

If we can watch a Black man get relentlessly beaten by cops for 5 minutes on the six o’clock news in real life, then we should be able to watch the same thing reversed in a fictional cartoon.

Check out  Counterfit “The Neighborhood Dude” and you be the judge… I just hope he gets the same fair judgement The Cleveland Show gets.