Entertainment

One Of Mexico’s Biggest Beer Brands Is In Hot Water After Using Guillermo Del Toro’s Art Work Without His Permission

Artists often take inspiration from the works of other artists. This happens across all forms of art, from playwriting to musical composition to poetry. It certainly happens in the visual arts as well, where artists will make references or even directly incorporate aspects of another artist’s work into their own. But reproducing and selling an artist’s works without his or her explicit consent, consists of copyright infringement. That’s kind of what Cerveza Victoria is looking at, after their ‘limited edition’ Guillermo del Toro beer collection dropped — without Del Toro’s approval. 

On today’s case of “Who approved this?,” Grupo Modelo —the large Mexican brewery that exports beers we all know and love, such as Corona, Modelo, Pacifico and Victoria— managed to anger one of the most beloved Mexicans in the world: Guillermo del Toro.

Cerveza Victoria, recently announced a beer can collection featuring three specially designed cans featuring the director’s face, and two of his iconic monsters; one from his acclaimed film “Pan’s Labyrinth,” the other from his Oscar winning picture “The Shape of Water.”

The cans, designed by illustrator Guy Davis, were to be sold in convenience stores in Mexico City, Jalisco, San Luis Potosí, Michoacán and México state.

Here’s where things turn sour. Guillermo del Toro called out Victoria, and Grupo Modelo, for using his image and those of his characters, without his permission.

‘The Shape of Water’ director tweeted at Cerveza Victoria on Thursday, and urged the company to donate all the profits raised from the sales of the beer collection to young students competing in math and robotics competitions. “Very poorly done, @VictoriaMX. These cans do not have my authorization, my consultation or my signature to use my image or my name . . .” he tweeted in Spanish.

But why, oh why, would a huge company such as Cerveza Victoria, follow through with such a massive marketing strategy like this without even asking the artist himself for his consent?

As it turns out, Victoria beer was one of the sponsors of Del Toro’s “At Home with my Monsters,” exhibition in Guadalajara, Mexico. The exhibit featured over 900 objects the Oscar-winning director used in the making of his films, such as costumes, notebooks, drawings and personal objects.

The exposition was on display at the University of Guadalajara Art Museum (MUSA) from June 1 to November 3 of this year, and we believe that perhaps this fact granted the beer maker, the liberties to run a whole collection of limited edition cans with the artist’s face and work emblazoned all over them — without expressly asking for his take on it, much less his permission.

The beer maker took to Twitter to “apologize”.

Victoria, by Grupo Modelo, tried and failed to contain this crisis by tweeting that “they would never take liberties with something like this,” when in fact, they did — smh. The company, however, did apologize and admitted to making a mistake:

“We would never take liberties with something like this, @RealGDT. We are reviewing where the wires got crossed. Apart from this, we will continue to support Mexican talent as we have done up to now,” tweeted the company.

But in another twist of events, the very next day, Victoria deleted all tweets, images and every single trace of the ‘Guillermo del Toro’ campaign from the company’s social media — including the half-assed apology tweet.

On Thursday of the same week, Del Toro tweeted out that things had been patched up between himself and the beer maker.

At the end of last week, the director announced that the beer company’s faux pas was a thing of the past, and that the two managed to find a solution: “The misunderstanding has been fixed in good will. The cans with my signature will be substituted by a new graphic project (with no profit for me) and the proceeds will be going to @CDMXOMM and @SOMEXICO_ Thank you,” he tweeted in Spanish.

The organizations mentioned in the critically acclaimed director’s tweet, work for causes he continually supports.

@CDMXOMM is Mexico City’s math olympics, an academic program that helps students and young people develop their creative math skills. @SOMexico_ or Special Olympics Mexico, is an organization that offers sports training and support for intellectually disabled athletes.

Del Toro has supported these causes in the past and continues to champion children’s academic needs.

When he’s not directing award-winning films or being celebrated at award shows, the director works closely with organizations, supporting students’ ambitions in math, animation and now, sports. Only this year, he offered a full scholarship to young Deborah Balboa for a Masters in Arts and Animation at the best university in Paris, France. Also this year, in March, he helped two students attend university to study film thanks to the Jenkins-Del Toro scholarship. He also paid for two students to attend a math world tournament in England, from his own pocket.

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Like students around the world, kids in Mexico have been forced to take school online or tune into programming on public TV in order to learn. But that’s just the kids who are lucky enough to have access to Internet or a TV. Many students live in rural areas and lack the adequate resources to continue their studies amid the global pandemic.

But thankfully, there are many good samaritans out there (aka compassionate teachers) who have invented their own ways to bring the classroom to kids wherever they are.

A Mexican teacher was gifted a decked out pickup truck by Nissan.

Since schools were forced to close last year in April, Aguascalientes special education teacher Nallely Esparza Flores, has been driving four hours a day to educate students one-on-one at their homes from her truck bed, outfitted with a small table and chairs.

News of her project spread across social media, eventually reaching the corporate offices of Nissan México. This week, the company surprised Esparza with the gift of a new pickup truck specially outfitted with a small open-air mobile classroom built into the truck’s bed.

“Today I feel like my labors and the help that we give each day to children and their families is unstoppable,” she said on Twitter Wednesday, sharing photos of her new vehicle. “My students no longer have to take classes in the full heat of the sun,” she said.

Nissan representatives said they decided to give Esparza the adapted NP300 model, 4-cylinder truck after hearing her story because she was “an example of perseverance and empathy.”

“When we learned about the incredible work of this teacher, we got together to discuss in what way we could contribute to this noble work,” said Armando Ávila, a vice president of manufacturing.

The mobile classroom is pretty legit and will allow Esparza to continue her good deed.

Esparza inside her new classroom.

The decked out Nissan pickup truck has three walls (the other is a retractable sheeting) and a ceiling made with translucent panels to protect teacher and student from the elements while letting in natural light.

It also has retractable steps for easy access to the classroom, electrical connections, a whiteboard and an easily disinfected acrylic table and benches that are foldable into the wall to provide space. The table also has a built-in plexiglass barrier to allow social distancing.

Access to education in Mexico is highly inequitable.

Esparza, like many teachers across the country, found that not all distance learning was equal. Many of her students in Cavillo were from poor families without internet access. So she used social media networks to keep in touch with such students via cell phones, but even that was not necessarily an available option for all — and not ideal. Finally, she decided to solve the problem by hitting the road in her pickup truck.

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 58% of students in Mexico had a home computer – the lowest percentage among all OECD countries. And only about one third (32%) of the school computers in rural schools in Mexico were connected to
the Internet, compared to more than 90% for schools located in urban areas.

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Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

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Sen. Ted Cruz Makes Quick U-Turn From Mexico After Outrage He Abandoned His Frozen Texas

Sen. Ted Cruz has faced a series of outrages since being accused of helping to incite the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The latest problem plaguing Sen. Cruz is his trip to Mexico while his constituents in Texas freeze during an extreme weather event.

Sen. Ted Cruz was caught boarding a flight to Mexico as Texans are left freezing.

Texas is being slammed with a historic extreme winter weather storm. Hundreds of thousands of Texans are without power for the fifth day in a row while the senator from Texas was heading off to Cancun. Critics are angered that Sen. Cruz would leave the state while his constituents are forced to boil water to survive one of the worst winter storms on record.

Politicians are calling Sen. Cruz out for leaving his constituents during a natural disaster.

The Castro brothers are speaking up as well. Texans are dying from the extreme weather after the power grid was overloaded from sudden demand. The power outages have lasted for multiple days and the death toll continues to climb from the freezing temperatures. So far, 24 people have died from the winter storm.

Part of the problem is that Texas has their own power grid separated from the rest of the nation in an attempt to avoid federal regulations. The decision was made in the 1930s after President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed the Federal Power Act. This allowed the federal government to oversee interstate electricity sales. However, Texas utilities did not cross state lines. This created an electricity island.

People are not letting the trip go unnoticed.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is responsible for overseeing the power grid and officials had a grim revelation about the power outages. On Tuesday, ERCOT CEO Bill Magness addressed the media about the power outages.

“We needed to step in and make sure that we were not going to end up with Texas in a blackout, which could keep folks without power — not just some people without power but everyone in our region without power — for much, much longer than we believe this event is going to last, as long and as difficult as this event is right now,” Magness said about the call to cut power to some customers as the icy conditions settled in on the area.

He further explained that some of the power outages could last for an undetermined amount of time.

This is not the first time Texas had weather-induced power outages because of winter weather. The state saw the same situation on a smaller scale play out in 2011. The winter storm in 2011 knocked out power across the state and yet Texas officials did not follow suggestions to prevent the current crisis.

A report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation called on Texas to “winterize” their energy infrastructure. The report highlights how the current infrastructure was not ready to take on the weather it experienced in 2011 and, according to The Texas Tribune, Texas didn’t heed the warning.

On Tuesday, 60 percent of Houston businesses and households remained without power because of the weather.

Sen. Cruz quickly booked a return flight to Houston after the outrage.

Facing mounting anger over his warm escape from Texas, Sen Cruz quickly U-turned back to Houston. He claims to have been accompanying his daughters to Mexico and not going on the vacation himself.

A flurry of tweets about the situation show a growing number of people who are skeptical of the senator’s statement. Ted Cruz was photographed with luggage both in Texas and coming back through the Cancun airport. The luggage has set off a debate about whether or not Sen. Cruz honestly went to Mexico to drop his daughters.

READ: Sen. Joe Manchin Calls On Senate To Expel Sen. Ted Cruz After Insurrection

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