Entertainment

These ‘Ugly Betty’ Facts Will Make You Love The Iconic TV Show Even More Than You Already Do

It has been over ten years since the first episode of “Ugly Betty” first aired and we are totally here for the celebration. The show turned America Ferrera into one of Hollywood’s megastars and helped girls of the early 2000s era get better acquainted with beauty norms and standards.

Here’s a look at 25 weird facts from the set!

1. The show made America Ferrera the first Latina to win a lead actress Emmy.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Of course, the Latina earned the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series award in 2007 by her own merits. But there’s no doubting the beloved Betty character helped her get there. 

2. There was an actual MODE magazine.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The magazine featured plus-size fashion models. It was launched in 1997 and ended in 2001.

3. A copy of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants sat on Betty’s bedside table

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

America Ferrera’s big break came when she played Carmen in the popular film adaptation of the same book.

4. The show was almost called “Betty The Ugly”

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Not quite as catch as the name the TV network ABC came up with. But the title was a remake of “Betty La Fea” so…

5. Betty was almost  a secret agent

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

When the story was first pitched to TV execs, Horta pictured Betty as an FBI agent. ABC told him to stick with the original concept since it worked.

6. Ana Ortiz originally auditioned to play Betty.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

At one point she said that she was sure every actress in LA and NY did. 

7. Mark was almost a one-off

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The original storyline imagined  Wilhemina’s assistants to stick around only for an episode. Michael Urie the actor who played Mark thought he’d be only taking on a guest role but the show led him to believe this because of budgetary constraints. ‘They only ever give us a certain amount of money in a budget, so the way to sneak people in that aren’t supposed to be regulars is to make them a guest star. So we said, “He’ll be a guest star!”’

8. Nailing Betty’s signature style took a minute.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

America tried on almost 200 pairs of glasses.

9. Eric Mabius still wears his clothes from the show.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

They put everything up for sale after the show was canceled and I bought all my suits at one-tenth the cost.

10. Salma Hayek executive produced the show.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

She took on the role of Sofia Reyes in season one and also played the nurse who appears on the telenovela watched by the Suarez family.

11. Lindsay Lohan’s stint was supposed to be longer.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The actress was meant to appear in the series for six episodes but left after the episodes. She played Betty’s high school frenemy Kimmie Keegan but was so difficult to work with that her character was written off much earlier.

12. Patricia Field designed for “Sex and the City,” too.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Field designed all of the costumes for season 1 and returned as a costume designer in season three.

13. America Ferrera kept Betty’s poncho and glasses.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Once the show was over the actress took Betty’s signature looks for herself but stomped on the braces. 

14. The word “ugly” faded from the title credits in the final episode

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

“The reality is, look beyond the title, the name,” Horta said. “The word fades because it never really should have been there if we’re talking about who she is.”

15. The cast joined the writers’ strike in 2007.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

‘The issues coming up with actors’ contracts are very similar to what the writers are dealing with […]and we have to stay united and stand strong within the creative community for what we believe is fair.’

16. America Ferrera landed her part because of Salma Hayek

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

“I hadn’t heard anything about the show and she ran up to me and said, ‘You are my Ugly Betty!”‘ and I was like, ‘I don’t know what that means, but I will do whatever!'” Ferrera revealed.

17. Adele appeared on the show before she was a thing.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The songstress appeared in the show’s third season and sang ‘Right As Rain’ for a photo shoot at MODE. 

18. The cast are keen for a reunion

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

At the ATX TV Festival in Texas Ferrera asked the audience to use the hasthag #HuluBringBackUglyBetty to get Hulu to commission a ‘two-hour movie.’

19. The show was based on a Colombian soap opera.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The show was called “Betty la Fea” that lasted for 1 season. 

20. Finding Betty’s iconic red glasses wasn’t easy.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

America Ferrera tried on several pairs before the costume designer gave her own to America.

21. Marc and Amanda were in a spin-off web-series called Mode After Hours.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The series featured the trouble they got into when staff members left MODE for the night.

22. Anna Wintour inspired the character Fey Summers.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

That and The Devil Wears Prada means Wintour has left quite an impression on the fashion world.

23. Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife inspired Betty’s fashion.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

The beheaded queen wore a necklace with the letter “B” that inspired Betty’s jewelry.

24. The sassy receptionist was named after crew member and writer, Brian Tanen.

CREDIT: “Ugly Betty” /ABC

Amanda Tanen shared a name with writer Brian Tanen. Hmmm wonder how sassy he was?


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The World Can’t Get Enough Of J Balvin, He Is YouTube’s Most Streamed Artist Worldwide

Entertainment

The World Can’t Get Enough Of J Balvin, He Is YouTube’s Most Streamed Artist Worldwide

Roger Kisby / Fotógrafo autónomo / Getty Images

¡Mi gente! Your faves could never. Latin music domination continues around the world with the top spots of global streaming platforms being stacked with Latinx artists. What a time to be alive. Remember when we all had to pretend Drake was Dominican to get some kind of representation out here? But when you think about the sheer number of people on the planet that speak Spanish, it totally makes sense that Latinx artists would have such a massive reach. 

And let’s be real, while fluency helps, you really don’t have to be proficient to enjoy reggaeton. The energetic, pulsating beats can compel anyone to move. Do you really think everyone in the United States knew the English translation of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” in order to enjoy it? Music transcends language and so does Colombian trap artist J Balvin apparently. Do you think anyone even noticed that the lyrics in “Harlem Shake” are largely in Spanish? Nope. 

J Balvin is here to stay.

For six consecutive weeks, J Balvin has chopped the global charts on YouTube. That’s a total of 1.26 billion views on the platform. 

“Artista más visto en YouTube Global,” Balvin wrote in an Instagram caption.

This comes as no surprise to Balvin fans. In 2018, Balvin ousted drake as the most-streamed artist worldwide on Spotify. The singer surpassed 48 million monthly listeners last summer thanks to his single “X” with Nicky Jam which streamed over 327 million times. Balvin is in great company on the global charts with Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, and Ozuna all in the top 10. The trio’s single “China” with Anuel AA and Karol G is currently number 1 on the YouTube global charts and number 2 in the United States chart. However, we’re pleased to note that “Señorita” by Camilla Cabello and Shawn Mendes is topping the charts in the states. 

Balvin shouts out his Latinx fans. 

“Artista más escuchado en el mundo en @spotify posición #1 que celebro con todos mis latinos y los soñadores. Gracias Gracias Gracias,” Balvin wrote in the caption. 

Our boy is famous basically everywhere?

The top countries streaming Balvin’s music are Mexico with 240 million views, Argentina with 121 million views, and Colombia with 121 million views. The United States is in fourth place with 112 million views, followed by Spain, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, and Venezuela. But fear not, Balvin has fans in at least 100 different countries according to YouTube. 

We stan a humble king of the masses!

Like, literally could you imagine how this level of adoration and attention would completely warp your mind? I would be a monster. I would build a house out of fan mail and then set it ablaze just to laugh at my stupid fans. I’d have so many, who cares! Meanwhile, the artist, who typically regales his followers with personal messages on Instagram every morning at 5 a.m., knows how to connect with his fans. Balvin even served ordinary people from a coffee cart in New York City the other day. 

“Buenos días , buenos días , buenos días !!!!! ARCOÍRIS TOUR empieza 30 de Agosto en Puerto Rico !! Choliseo,” he wrote on Instagram. 

 We stan a humble king of the masses!

This isn’t the first Latin wave (and it won’t be the last).

In the 1990s, the late and great Selena catapulted Tejano and Cumbia music into the mainstream American consciousness. This ushered in the era of the “Latin Explosion” where legends were born. Ricky Martin, Thalía, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, and Jennifer Lopez made their marks. Hell, even Frank Sinatra personally invited Luis Miguel to record a duet of “Come Fly With Me” on his 1994 album Duets II. 

In the 2000s, there was the “Latin Pop Boom” that saw the likes of Shakira, Paulina Rubio, and Christina Aguilera topping the charts. You may even remember non-Latinx artists trying to ride the wave with Beyoncé collaborating with Shakira on the duet, “Beautiful Liar,” and releasing a Spanish language version of the single “Irreplaceable.” It almost feels odd to call these decades different waves or eras when it is pretty clear Latinxs have been consistently rocking the charts since Gloria Estefan in the 1980s. Since then, in the United States, we have been blessed with many more Latinx acts including the likes of Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello, Becky G, and Cardi B. And of course, there are all the amazing imports from Latinx countries around the world. If we want to continue this Latinx chart domination, I only have one piece of advice: stream “China” by J. Balvin on YouTube and Spotify!

Detained Teenagers’ Artwork, Dubbed ‘Uncaged Art’ On Display In University Of Texas At El Paso

Things That Matter

Detained Teenagers’ Artwork, Dubbed ‘Uncaged Art’ On Display In University Of Texas At El Paso

UTEP

Between June 2018 and January 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services detained more than 6,000 teenagers from Central and South America in a tent city 40 miles south of El Paso. It was called the Tornillo Children’s Detention camp and was the largest detention center for children in the United States. While detained there, the teenagers, aged 13-17, were asked to participate in a social studies project to create art that reminded them of their home. Their art was on display around the tent city until a story by The New York Times shined a light on the teens’ paltry living conditions, and the government shut the facility down in January 2019.

As Tornillo Children’s Detention Camp was being shut down, workers trashed nearly all of the 400 pieces of art. However, one priest and several community organizations came together and were able to save 29 of the pieces.

Father Rafael Garcia, a Jesuit Priest, was one of the few outside visitors allowed into the camp.

Credit: Sacred Heart Church, El Paso, TX / Facebook

“It is hard to describe the mood there; some kids were very glum and sad, others had no expression,” Father Garcia told NBC News. “Then there were others interacting like normal kids.” The artwork was on display until January 2019, when the U.S. government decided to close the camp. As officers were tossing the artwork, Garcia asked for permission to redistribute the art to others who may want it.

“If I hadn’t been there, and received permission to keep some of the pieces, it probably would have all been thrown in the dumpster,” Garcia said.

With the artwork in hand, Garcia called Yolanda Chávez Leyva, Ph.D., University of El Paso Texas Professor and co-founder of El Paso’s Museo Urbano.

Credit: Borderzine Reporting across fronteras / YouTube

Leyva would go to the Tornillo Children’s Detention Center on her days off to visit with the kids. Garcia knew that she co-founded El Paso’s community museum known for preserving borderland history. Garcia wanted the museum and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to protect the artwork. They did one better and put all the art on display at UTEP’s Centennial Museum. 

Father Garcia sees the final outcome–an exhibit featuring their work–as “a ray of light from a grim experience.”

Credit: UTEP

The Museum website describes the exhibit as reflective of “the resiliency, talent, and creativity of young men and women who trekked 2,000 miles from their homes in Central America to reach the United States.” The exhibit, titled ‘Uncaged Art,’ “provides us with a window into the personal world of migrant children whose visions and voices have often been left out of mainstream media accounts,” reads the website.

Still, the art is on display behind a chain-link fence, to remind visitors of the conditions the young artists were in at the time.

Credit: Borderzine Reporting across fronteras / YouTube

The social studies teachers allowed the students four days to create the art and allowed them to create individually or in groups. There were no other instructions other than to think of their home. Those instructions resulted in an array of mixed media art including dresses, sculptures and hundreds of drawings and sketches. Then, “camp officials” judged the art and selected their perceived best works to display around the camp.

Human rights attorney, Camilo Pérez-Bustillo thinks that the camp released the artwork as a PR stunt to look good.

Credit: UTEP

Pérez-Bustillo had interviewed about 30 children from the camp and believes the artwork was essentially curated by the facility. “I think they released it to look good,” Pérez-Bustillo told The Texas Observer. “They had so much negative publicity at the end from the national media, especially after news reports that their employees did not have to submit to FBI checks, they decided to shut it down and cut their losses.”  

For now, we don’t know the faces behind the artwork.

Credit: UTEP

In June 2018, Beto O’Rourke led hundreds of protesters to the tent city demanding humane conditions for the ever-expanding tent city. Temperatures were over 100 degrees while the children were living in tents. A DHS spokesperson told the public that the tents were air-conditioned. Some of the children told an attorney that the worst part of the facility was never knowing when they’d get out. Some kids would keep track of the days that passed by scribbling numbers on their forearms.

Still, the government’s response to the problem was to loosen the strict requirements for sponsorships. All of the children are now sponsored by people around the country.

Wherever they are, we hope that they see their artwork is cherished by our community.

Credit: “tornillo art” Digital Image. Texas Observer. 23 August 2019.

We know that the symbol of the quetzal bird created in this artwork is a symbol of freedom for Guatemala. In the words of one of the artists, as told by The Texas Observer, “The quetzal cannot be caged or it will die of sadness.”

READ: Texas Detention Officer Charged With Sexual Assault Of An Undocumented Mother’s Child

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