Televisa: The Mexican and Central American Bully
Angel is a prolific author and media activist who has just released the juicy political thriller novel Janus: The Devil's Election.
In my last article, you might remember that I discussed El Salvador and the effects that prolonged violence in the tiny nation has towards many outsider's perceptions of Salvadorians. Now, I'd like to expose another perpetrator in the trampling of Central America's image; Televisa.
The logo you see in the above header appears before every Mexican telenovela and Televisa produced program along with the homogenised voiceover proudly broadcasting the refrain, Televisa Presenta! Now, I'm not going to sit here and lie by saying that every Televisa produced program is this way inclined; it isn't. If you are lucky enough to have grown up with great Mexican programs such as El Chavo or El Chapulin Colorado, I'm sure that you'll agree with me on their quality and utter hilarity.
Even programs like La Rosa de Guadalupe give somewhat of an authentic sense of actual Mexican life and displays that Central American's are equally as honest and hard working as most of the rest of the human race. An example of the programs that I do have a problem with are the telenovelas of a similar ilk to Teresa, Pasion y Poder, and La Sombra del Pasado. Programs like this perpetuate the terrible image that Mexicans and Central Americans are all devious, devilish people that aren't to be trusted and are out to use others. Of course, I'm not prudish; I don't have a problem with a little entertainment every now and then and obviously not everyone in Mexico and Central America are honest, however, these Telenovelas take negative imagery to reprehensible new levels.
A personal example: My own mother has in the past been compared to a certain villain that appears in one of these telenovelas. Why? For the simple reason that she was born in El Salvador. This is of the utmost of offences to me personally and those that do actually know my mother will know that she is nowhere near that kind of person at all.
Televisa is a family run organisation that was founded in 1973 by Emilio Azcarraga Vidaurreta and is currently being run by his son, Emilio Azcarraga Jean. The company has been in existence for four decades now and is deeply rooted into the cultural mainstream enough that it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But there are several important issues that need to be pointed out and discussed quite urgently.
One of the main issues is that unlike many of the other Mexican production companies who pride themselves on diversity, Televisa uses only stereotypical Mexican and Central American actors. Basically, that means that if all the information you receive about Mexicans and Central Americans comes solely from watching Televisa syndicated programming, your force-fed mentality would slowly be taking the ugly shape of a Trump supporter. Let's face it, no one really wants that; do they?
Since the 1990's especially, Televisa has become the melting pot for Mexican and Central American stereotyping on a grand scale. At least some of the trashy American daytime soaps display some semblance of diversity. Remember the keyword; diversity.
A lot of the telenovelas I have seen disgust me. The image that Televisa irresponsibly try to put on my brethren definitely does not show us in the most flattering of lights. I know full well that in general, my people are not like that. My concerns lay with what non-Hispanics may be thinking; for the most part, I get the impression that they have the wrong idea about us, and Televisa's profit-generating programs at the expense of anyone standing in their way certainly does not help matters. In fact, it is worse now than it has ever been. In this decade alone, Televisa has made nothing but telenovelas, throwing comedies like El Chavo to the wayside.
Take this promotional poster for La Sombra del Pasado; can you see who the bad guy is? I can, but I'm afraid that non-Hispanics might see every single one of these characters as the bad guy. My point is, if this is what foreigners are exposed to when it comes to the Mexican and Central American media, then Hispanics will forever be a feared or even hated people. We are getting sick of it.
A final example is Como Dice el Dicho. The entire premise of this show is about some old guy offering bumbling, senile advice in a coffee shop! Come on Televisa! Seriously? That is just ridiculous and surely not any sort of portrayal of Mexico as anyone knows it.
Televisa, please start making more family friendly programs without the cliched violence that you seem to so love to profit from. Stop giving your own kind such a bad reputation. It's not cool! Or is there simply no money to be made from being truthful?
Televisa may be a minority owned company, but it has the callous heart of a ruthless American multinational. So next time you see the Televisa intro with the gushing voiceover proclaiming Televisa Presenta!, please think about the damaging image that is being portrayed.
The similarities here to a Trump owned business extends along the same plain of perverse logic; to garnish huge profits and not give a damn about its own kind.
The sad thing is, that articles of this nature have little to no impact on Televisa's attitudes, who will wake up in the morning, unruffled and stronger than ever. Heck, if by the off chance that Televisa do take notice and are upset that I'm talking down to them; too bad. This is the harsh truth.
Let the light be shown!
*Televisa was involved in a huge money laundering scheme in 2012. The news went worldwide and damaged Mexico's and Central America's reputation even further.
tags / Televisa, Mexico, CentralAmerica, telenovela, ElChavo, ElChapulinColorado, LaRosadeGuadalupe, Teresa, PasionyPoder, LaSombradePasado, EmilioAzcarragaJean, EmilioAzcarragaVidaurreta, diversity, Americansoaps, daytimesoaps, ComoDiceelDicho, Televisascandal, Televisamoneylaundering, Angel Ramon Medina