I was originally going to lash out at the embarrassing situation of Telemundo using predominantly white writers for a Spanish TV network ("As Telemundo Turns," by Kevin Baxter, Dec. 20). I was going to lash out even more at them for rewarding U.S. Latinos with a remake of "Charlie's Angels" (there's quality, huh?).
Instead, I want to reveal a plain truth about Latino programming and expose Latino "programmers" and "marketers": The only Latinos who consciously make an effort to watch Telemundo or Univision are immigrants and/or first generation. From second generation on, Latinos--both bilingual and English-only speaking--watch English programming. They may "glance" or "flip" through Spanish channels, but nine times out of 10 a young Latino will choose "The Simpsons" over "Sabado Gigante" and a Latino teenager will watch "90210" over "Angeles."
So the "reaching out" of Telemundo to U.S. Latinos is actually a mere tap on the shoulder, for in reality Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans and Central and South Americans want to see stories about them in English, starring Latino actors from here, because that is the world we have struggled so hard to live and achieve in.
Telemundo may have a new face, but the real face of U.S. Latinos remains covered. Oh, well, at least we have "Cops."
If "the vast majority of U.S. Latinos either primarily speak English or are bilingual," no wonder Telemundo's attempt to reach us is failing!
The obvious solution is for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and the WB network to incorporate more Latino characters (and please, no more maids) into existing Anglo shows.
There is a great deal more diversity in today's offices (the setting for many TV shows) that is just not being depicted, to the detriment of our children.
It is so obvious that the new executives at Telemundo are merely paying lip service to the Hispanic community. They say that they want to produce original programming that reflects the lives of Hispanic Americans. But their notion of accomplishing such a feat is to employ non-Hispanic producers and writers to merely rehash Sony's old '70s shows and then translate them into Spanish.
Telemundo President and CEO Peter Tortorici is blatantly underestimating the Hispanic audience and its experiences. But I am glad to note that no one is being fooled. The shows that they have aired so far are unoriginal and by no means reflect Latino life.
Their other obvious blunder is shooting many of these shows south of the border, in order of course to exploit the workers down there instead of paying decent wages to Hispanics living here.