Home Entertainment Disney’s ‘Primos’ Sparks Debate: Cultural Celebration or Harmful Stereotypes?

Disney’s ‘Primos’ Sparks Debate: Cultural Celebration or Harmful Stereotypes?

Disney's ‘Primos’ Sparks Debate: Cultural Celebration or Harmful Stereotypes?

Disney has long been recognized as a pioneer in storytelling and creating beloved characters that capture the hearts of audiences worldwide. Yet, not every venture is met with unanimous praise, as demonstrated by the recent backlash surrounding Disney’s upcoming animated series, “Primos.” The show, which initially garnered excitement and anticipation, quickly found itself at the center of a storm of criticism and accusations of insensitivity.  

When Disney first announced “Primos,” it was presented as a vibrant and culturally rich animated series that aimed to celebrate the Latino/e community and its diverse heritage. The show is intended to follow 10-year-old Tater and her 12 cousins who embark on exciting quests based on her dreams and thoughts. 

The Backlash of ‘Primos’

According to Deadline, the show was created by Natasha Kline, and it is based on her childhood experiences with her extended multicultural Mexican American family. 

However, as news of the show spread, so did the growing backlash and concerns regarding its potentially harmful portrayal of Latino/e characters. Critics argue that the character designs and cultural representations in “Primos” perpetuate stereotypes and reinforce negative tropes, rather than providing an authentic and respectful depiction of the Latino/e community. For one, the animated show seemed to have used a sepia tone, which furthers the odd cinematic choice to showcase Mexico and other Latin American countries through a yellow-like filter. Others are criticizing the incorrect use of the Spanish language as many people claim that it should be “oigan primos,” not “oye primos.” While others are upset at how dirty and unkempt the children’s environment looks in the series. This, naturally, led to an outcry on social media platforms, with many individuals expressing their disappointment and frustration at Disney’s handling of such a sensitive topic.  

Meanwhile, others praised the show as it is a way to validate the duality of having ties to Latin American while also having your roots in the United States present. Remember, language and customs can vary based on where someone resides – but this doesn’t make it wrong either. It’s a complex situation, to say the least.  

Addressing the Issue

Considering the mounting criticism, Disney made the decision to pull the plug on the theme song of “Primos” on most platforms. You can, nonetheless, find it on YouTube still (as of the writing of this article.) The company has yet to release a statement acknowledging the concerns raised by the audience.  

The controversy surrounding “Primos” has sparked broader conversations about representation and cultural sensitivity in the entertainment industry. Advocates argue that it is crucial for creators to engage in meaningful collaboration with diverse voices and ensure that their narratives accurately reflect the lived experiences of the communities they aim to represent. But here’s the thing: Latines were present during the creation of this Disney original.  

The reality is that it is difficult to encapsulate everyone’s experiences in one place. As Kline has previously mentioned, she only went off what she knew. Can people really blame her for creating something that is true to her?  

As someone who grew up craving more Latine representation in media, it’s great to see the attempt to showcase our people in the mainstream – even if it doesn’t resonate with everyone. At least, it’s a step in the right direction.  

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