Arriba y Abajo 5-29-2016

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WEduardoSunolho? Eduardo Suñol

–Where? NBC Telemundo

– New Position? VP News Digital

–Before? Senior Executive Producer

-Importance?  Will Strengthen Digital News 0peration

 

 


MadelineBosakewichWho? Madeline Bosakewich

–Where? IBT Media
– New Position? VP of Sales
–Before? Zoomin.TV Publisher Relations and Televisa Publishing
-Report to? Mitchell Caplan, Chief Marketing Officer
-Importance?  Will  create a Global Sales Strategy

Latinos Outgrew Sábado Gigante’s Racism and Misogyny

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Saturday nights for Latinos are usually family nights, and the variety show Sábado Gigante – the Miami-based Spanish-language hybrid of Benny Hill, Saturday Night Live and The Price is Right, which aired across the Americas for 53 years – has long been a big part of that. I didn’t watch the show of my own volition too much after immigrating to the US as a child (I was a nerd who preferred to read books), but it was often on at home following the family meal on Saturday evenings; if we had friends and family over at our apartment on Saturday night, spending time with them meant watching the show. If I happened to be at a friend’s house on a Saturday night, watching the show was a big part of our entertainment.

Dom Francisco’s show was a place on television for Latinos to see themselves represented. And some times we were in the worst ways possible.
Dom Francisco’s show was a place on television for Latinos to see themselves represented. And some times we were in the worst ways possible.

Sábado Gigante always gave America’s diverse Latinos a shared pop culture vernacular; for immigrant families, it gave us something to connect to with family back home. As long as they had televisions and understood Spanish, a grandmother living in El Salvador, a cousin living in the Dominican Republic, and an uncle living in Paraguay could all share a common reference point with family members living in the US and Canada – much like strangers use Twitter now to talk about Scandal or Game of Thrones.

And, for second generation Latinos who discreetly agonize over our Spanish language attrition. Spanish might be the first language we learned growing up in Latin America, or the first language we learned being born in the US, but many Latinos do most of our formal learning in English – and it influences our understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of our mother tongue. Sábado Gigante’s skits and segments are so over-the-top that it doesn’t matter whether we’ve lost our ability to conjugate verbs into the subjunctive mood, for instance – we will still get the basics and other family members can fill us in on any nuances we missed.

With an audience of about two million people, the 3-hour Univision show (which will come to an end this fall) has remarkably soothed generational, geographical and linguistic divides. Latino families in the US and throughout the Americas still gather around the television screen to watch it, as generations did before us, and many are mourning its end. When Latinos in the US say they’ll miss Sábado Gigante, they sometimes mean they’ll miss the way that it allowed them to connect with other Latinos, and the anxiety over losing the bond that only Sábado Gigante makes possible – and made possible for so long – is predictable.

But coupled with a certain willing silence over the show’s problematic themes, sketches and host, that melancholy illustrates how Latino misogyny and racism is perpetuated in the US. Sábado Gigante and its host are representative of some of the worst supposed Latino culture, and both should have been rejected ages ago.

Sábado Gigante’s host, Mario Kreutzberger – better known as Don Francisco – has become synonymous with Sábado Gigante for more than half a century. Those of us who grew up watching Don Francisco also grew up having to accept his persistent objectification of women to enjoy (or endure) his show. Although I didn’t have the words to articulate it as a child, seeing the way Don Francisco treats women made me cringe – and still does. One of the Sábado Gigante’s best-known segments, for instance, is Miss Colita (roughly translated, it means Miss Ass); a pageant in which women parade around the stage in thongs while Don Francisco comments and audience members vote for their favorite buttocks. Miss Colita contestants willingly sign up for the segment – but also have to cope with Don Francisco’s constant ogling and groping.

But it’s not just Miss Colita contestants who are objectified by Don Francisco on Sábado Gigante: the host also picks women out from the audience – grabbing women of all ages and body types by the hand, wrist, elbow or waist – and comments on their bodies. I don’t know that any woman ever directly rejected Don Francisco’s physical prodding on an aired episode of Sábado Gigante – but he was sued for sexual harassment by a cast member (it was settled out of court).

And, when he’s not busy groping women the show regularly uses little people as caricatures, employs exaggerated gay characters for laughter and regularly fat-shames people – including children.

When it comes to blatantly racist portrayals, the show’s mockery of indigenous peoples in the Americas is profoundly demeaning. Sábado Gigante’s interracial sketches illustrate the stubborn inequity among Latinos in the Americas: although we share a geographic region, Latinos are not one race of people. There are black, indigenous, white, Asian and mixed Latinos who are all subjected to a racial hierarchy – an order that Sábado Gigante doesn’t challenge. As a Latina who’s also indigenous, I connect with the show’s use of the Spanish language yet strongly reject the way that indigenous peoples are portrayed.

The show’s racism doesn’t end with its mockery of indigenous peoples: one of the Sábado Gigante’s best-known recurring characters is La Cuatro, which is short for La Cuatro Dientes (“Four Teeth”), a reference to the character’s social status – poor people, it’s assumed, can’t afford to fix their teeth. Although the actress who portrays her is light skinned and blonde, La Cuatro is often referred to as being savage and wild. In one episode from the show’s later years, viewers learned that La Cuatro is expecting an inheritance from an uncle in Africa, which is eventually delivered by an “African” character sporting a cheetah-print cloth and disheveled hair held together by a large bone.

As English language television struggles to figure out how to portray and serve a Latino audience – from Cristela to George Lopez to Jane the Virgin to Modern Family and beyond – I can’t imagine Sábado Gigante-type antics would ever hit mainstream screens. The stereotypes it employs don’t represent us – but we would also never want non-Latinos to know that those offensive stereotypes are humor in which any of us should continue to traffic. Sábado Gigante symbolizes an outdated thinking about Latinos and comedy that hinges on fetishizing and ridiculing people for ratings; it is ostensibly Latino, but it’s not an indication of who we are or who we’ve striving to become.

Sábado Gigante brought Latinos together across continents and generations, it’s true, but its misogyny and racism became its hallmarks even as the Latinos watching outgrew them. It’s probably too much to hope that the hatred for women, people of color and other marginalized people it perpetuated and institutionalized will die when Univision pulls the show’s plug on 19 September 2015 – but I can dream.

Latinos Spending More on CPG

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20150615 PG 3 CPGIncreasingly positive about their personal economies, U.S. Hispanics are spending more on consumer packaged goods, reveals a study conducted by Acosta Sales & Marketing and Univision Communications.

Today, Latino shoppers spend an average of $361 a month on groceries compared to $331 spent by the total U.S. shopper population. The numbers represent Hispanics’ highest monthly grocery spending in three years.

“Knowing how these consumers shop and make purchase decisions is important for capturing market share,” said Colin Stewart, senior vice president of Acosta Sales & Marketing.

Among the factors contributing to the increased spending among Hispanics are the enjoyment of shopping, eating dinner at the table and purchasing groceries online.

The Why? Behind The Buy U.S. Hispanic Shopper Study was produced via Acosta’s proprietary ShopperF1rst™ online survey in the fall of 2014.

Estranged Father Mum on Amazon CEO

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(Photo: Photograph by Benjamin Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek)
(Photo: Photograph by Benjamin Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek)

This article was published in the Arizona Republic on October 11, 2013. We run it now in preparation for an update on Jeff Bezos’ ethnicity and how it has influenced his role as the most important retailer in the U.S., the founder Amazon, America’s Store.

Glendale bicycle shop owner Ted Jorgensen, who learned nearly a year ago that the son adopted decades ago by his ex-wife’s husband is Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, has had no contact with the Internet entrepreneur since a reporter told him about the connection.

Jorgensen and stepsons Darin and Todd Fala, who work at their Jorgensen Road Runner Bike Center, declined comment but distributed a three-paragraph statement that briefly recounted the family ties that are more fully explained in the cover story of the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

The magazine article, “Secret Amazon” by Businessweek reporter Brad Stone, is an excerpt from his book, “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,”

Jorgensen says in his statement that he had regular contact with his son until the boy was 3 and then reluctantly agreed to allow former wife Jacklyn’s new husband, Mike Bezos, to adopt the boy.

“This has been a decision that I have regretted my whole life,” Jorgensen says in the statement. “Jacklyn asked me to not try and contact Jeff as they were going to raise Jeff as their own, and I stated that I would respect her wishes.”

More than four decades later, Stone approached Jorgensen in the small bike shop in a strip mall. After verifying Jorgensen was Bezos’s biological father, Stone told him a lot of people were looking for him, Jorgensen says in the statement.

“This was the first time that I learned that Jeff knew that I existed, and had knowledge of his adoption. Had I known that Jeff learned of his adoption at an earlier age, I would have taken steps to locate him,” he says in the statement.

“Because I have not spoken to Jeff since he was 3 years old, I have no further comment at this time. While I have no expectations of Jeff, I am hopeful (as any father would be) that I can begin a relationship with him again, and do not want to make any other statements until I have had the opportunity to do so,” he says in the statement.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was born to Ted Jorgensen and Jacklyn Gise, who later divorced. Gise married Mike Bezos, who adopted Jeff.

Asked Friday whether family members have tried to contact Bezos since learning about the connection, Darin Fala referred reporters to the statement and declined comment.

According to the Businessweek article, Jorgensen decided this year to reach out to the Bezos family, and he asked his stepson Darin to help him write letters to Bezos and his former wife. Jorgensen’s statement does not address the matter.

The shop owner was affable but stayed mostly in the back of the shop while his stepsons spoke with a small group of reporters.

Joregensen and Jacklyn Gise were married in 1963, and Jacklyn gave birth to the boy just two weeks after her 17th birthday, on Jan. 12, 1964, in New Mexico, where they lived.

When the boy was 17 months old, they filed for divorce. Later, she met and married Mike Bezos, asked Jorgensen not to interfere in their lives, and then moved away with her new husband and son, according to the magazine article.

“After thinking it over and reasoning that the boy would probably have a better life as the son of Jackie and her new husband, Ted obliged. After a few years, he lost track of the family and then forgot their last name,” according to Businessweek.

Jorgensen later remarried. His wife, Linda, has four sons from a previous marriage, who all are close with their stepfather, according to the magazine.

(Photo: Stephen Brashear, AP)
(Photo: Stephen Brashear, AP)

If You Know, Let Us Know

Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in early 1964, His parents divorced when he was 3 and his mother married Miguel Bezos, who had been born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a teenager. Bezos adopted the boy and the family moved to Houston. They later lived in Miami where young Jeff graduated from Palmetto Senior High.

Is he a Hispanic Entrepreneur?

How Latino is he?

Does he practice his ethnicity?

Give us your input

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