Reality show about socialites, expats, triggers backlash

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At, a graphic mocks “Made in Mexico” publicity.

In a country where most people have darker skin and about half the population lives in poverty, a reality show about the light-skinned elite has generated backlash.

“Made in Mexico,” the upcoing Netflix reality series following the lavish lives of nine socialites and expats, is being called “trash,” ”filth,” ”pathetic” and  ”classist.” And those were some of the more polite adjectives seen on social media.

“#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!” wrote @diarahernandezc on Twitter.

“From all the beautiful things that are really #MadeInMexico you decide to make a shallow series about shallow people, especially in a country with high economic inequality. Shame on you netflix,” scolded @cronGM.

Critics are also questioning the timing of the streaming service’s first Mexican reality show, announced a little over a month after the country overwhelmingly elected as president the leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who rails against what he calls an entrenched and corrupt elite and promises to make the poor his top priority.

“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,” said Guadalupe Loaeza, who has written several books about the Mexican elite. “More than money, the color of one’s skin is definitive … for whether one is accepted or not among the ‘rich boys and girls.'”

“Made in Mexico” producers did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

But Hanna Jaff, a 30-year-old, San Diego-born Mexican philanthropist, speaker and human rights activist, told The Associated Press said the show will offer a positive, intellectual, entrepreneurial vision of the country, in contrast to what’s often seen in media such as Netflix, which hosts a number of violent narco-dramas such as “El Chapo,” about notorious Sinaloa cartel kingpin Joaquin Guzman Loera.

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

At least in early advertising, however, Netflix has been touting it somewhat differently: “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,” reads the teaser for the show in the app.

Some have also objected to its English-language title, an affectation common in magazines and advertising aimed at well-to-do Mexicans. Besides Jaff, at least two other cast members are reportedly American.

Source: The Associated Press

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