January 14, 2012

   By Joe Zubizarreta / Zubi Advertising - Zubination Having just watched the pilot for Rob Schneider’s new show, Rob, I am totally disgusted by the way CBS has portrayed a Mexican-American family in an attempt to lure Latinos to general market television. The only thing I can think of is that they wanted to use every stereotype in the book to generate non-Hispanic viewership. To start with, the premise is ridiculous, that a drop dead gorgeous Latina (who works at a dress shop, of course), would meet Rob (a short Jewish landscape architect) and 6 weeks later marry him without telling anyone. The real insults begin when he is taken to the parents’ house, where there is a “small” family gathering of approximately 30 people, including an uncle that arrived from Mexico for the weekend and confesses to Rob that he is never leaving and Rob proceeds to use every stereotype imaginable to get a laugh from the viewers. What is even more surprising to me is that Cheech Marin and the rest of the Latino cast would actually stoop so low as to take money to be in the show. Cheech even admits that of the 100 plus employees he has working for him, he couldn’t find more than three with a Social Security number and he thinks the US should put up a big wall on the border because he “doesn’t need any more competition.” This show was hyped up as a great potential crossover show, a comedy that had potential to deliver a unique audience. In my opinion, it will be lucky if it makes 6 episodes and if NCLR does not begin a boycott of CBS by next week. This is not Modern Family, where everyone is over the top and no one is singled out. This is a direct insult to any Latino living in the US, especially Mexican Americans. It is poorly written, poorly acted out and altogether bad. I guess we don’t have to worry about our market leaving Spanish language television as long as these are the kind of shows the networks think will cross us over. Embarrassing. To watch premier episode CLICK HERE.

Comments

Hats off to Joe Zubi for speaking up. AHAA also complained to CBS on their site for their "interpretation" of Hispanics. Yes comedy is often over the top, but in this case it portrays an entire family of middle class Hispanics using all the negative cliches. Yes, that is offensive. What is particularly unfortunate is that it is a BAD show. And it will be off the air soon, and the networks will conclude that Hispanic inclusion on TV does not really work. Good luck getting more Hispanic friendly shows like Modern Family on the air after Rob fails. They will not likely realize that it failed because it was crap. Roberto

Yep. Cliche city alright. You can almost hear the whirring of the Ultragalactic Cliche Generator spinning to create one after another. And, I agree, shouldn't last over 6 episodes. It is crap. Also, the production set is solidly anchored in the 60's. However... should you choose to have some fun, have 250 or 300 friends all loudly complain about the stereotypes by: (1) posting in Facebook (2) posting in Twitter (3) Writing to their local newspaper, the NYT, Variety, Ad Age and Adweek (4) going into the "Contact us" at CBS and writing against the show. The power of social media is such that you will probably see a huge scandal brewing, the show cancelled and even a retraction somewhere.

In addition to all the above reasons, this show will die because it is just not funny.

Thanks Joe for bringing this up. I didn't know about the show before you brought it up. However, I clicked on the URL you provided to better understand where you were coming from. Completely agree that this show is a disgusting portrayal of the Hispanic family. I started watching it and saw so many insulting things pile up one after the other, that right after the grandma was introduced in such a disgusting manner, that's when I turned it off. Shame on CBS and all the actors that agreed to portray this type of show. The actors should be the ones to walk away from something like this. If they can't get any actors, maybe then CBS would get it and strive toward something that lifts up our culture not degrade it.

Take it easy, it is called comedy and for comedy to work it needs to be over the top. All comedy shows, movies and comedians practice the art of going overboard and having fun with stereotypes. No, it isn't a great program. And yes, it dealt in stereotypes but there was nothing egregious or mean spirited. Unless you already primed yourself to be insulted, in that case the appearance of a taco would have gotten your undies bunched. But then which stereotypes do you prefer? The sort seen on Rob or the type seen on Spanish TV with its smoldering depictions of Latin Lovers, the dear abuelita, and the corn-pone comedy shows? Are you saying these are any better? Or how about the stereotypes perpetrated by Spanish media about Hispanic dependency on Spanish or inability with English. I can show you research, ads and media kits from this industry that are rife with stereotypes about Hispanics. To me those are far more dangerous because they portray US Hispanics as segregating themselves. But let's be honest, those stereotypes served the purpose of aggregating a nice media target that the US Spanish ad industry could claim as its own. Maybe what really set you off is CBS trying to "lure" Hispanics. At some point the networks are going to regularly have Hispanic oriented TV shows. That in itself is going to spell more trouble for the already troubled Hispanic ad industry. If you don't like this show, you are really going to hate what is coming around the corner.

I 100% agree with Joe, I found the show offensive and I'm not even Mexican; but just as a Hispanic it bothered me. I also agree with Roberto and think it will be off the air within 6-13 episodes max. I have to believe that there is an audience out there for a sit-com type show that targets bicultural US Hispanics without being dependent on stereotypes; that talks to us but not just in cliches. In recent years I have seen more general market commercial executions that in my opinion "get it"; that acknowledge the Hispanic market without stereotypes. For example, I love the recent Volkswagon Pasat ad where the two "gingos" go on a road trip with nothing to listen to but a learn to speak Spanish casette. At the end of the ad all the dialogue is in Spanish: ostensibly because the Pasat has such great gas mileage that they've spent 12 hours learning Spanish. While not targeted just to Hispanics I have to think many us "got it" and got a chuckle out of it.

I understand Mr. Z´s rage - Bravo! In my opinion, good comedy is a sign of emotional intelligence and the ability to connect with the audience. It doesn't always need to be over the top to work (as per Mr. Chavarria) Additionally I think that, after we've all blown off the necessary steam, we should all be the bigger person and regard this sad, poor attempt at comedy (in any language or culture) more as: "poor CBS, they just don't get it ".

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