A new show from actress Eva Longoria has been taking some heat. The U.K. paper The Daily Mail reports that the new Lifetime series “Devious Maids” has been accused of degrading Latinas by portraying them in stereotypical and demeaning roles.
The show focuses on five Latina housekeepers who face condescension from their rich Beverly Hills bosses.
Said Damarys Ocana, executive editor of Latina magazine, in an interview with ABC News: “There probably wasn’t a Latina in the country who didn’t initially roll her eyes of ‘oh great, here we go again. Another Latina character that’s a maid.’”
Added Eric Deggans, media critic for the Tampa Bay Times: “Lifetime’s ‘Devious Maids’ raises a pointed question: Where is line between exploding a stereotype and exploiting it?”
But Longoria, who produces the show along with Marc Cherry, creator of “Desperate Housewives,” defended the show.
Said Longoria, 38, in a video promoting the show: “When we get any sort of backlash, sort of ‘they are playing the stereotypical maids,’ my immediate response is that ‘so you’re telling me those stories aren’t worth telling?’"
Adds Ana Ortiz, one of the stars of the show: “To be honest, I had the same reaction. When I first saw the script, I was like, ‘Really?’
“[But] I reject the notion that if a woman, a person, a human, is a maid, that they don’t deserve to have their story told. I just don’t accept that you have to be a doctor or a lawyer to be a hero.”
Ortiz adds: “There’s a responsibility we have to bring these characters to life truthfully and honestly. They’re funny and sexy and tragic and all of that, and listen, my grandmother was ALL of that!”