Entertainment

‘Saturday Night Live’ Excludes Julián Castro From Sketch And His Twin Brother Said He Could Have Played The Part

“Saturday Night Live” doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to people of color, specifically Latinos. In the show’s iconic history, which spans 44 years, the cast has mostly been white and male. In 2016, they finally hired a Latina to join the cast, which was a year after “SNL” decided to have Donald Trump host the show when he was running for president and calling Mexicans “rapists and criminals.” Latinos boycotted the show and they did receive backlash for allowing him to host. Yet, still “SNL” has yet to learn the importance of Latino representation and inclusion. 

On the season 45 premiere, “SNL” did a sketch that featured the Democratic presidential candidates but did not include Julián Castro and did include Marianne Williamson, who’s not in the running anymore. 

So why didn’t the have someone impersonating Castro? We know they don’t have any Latino comics on the show, however, they could have had their sole Latina comic Melissa Villaseñor put on a wig. She has played a man before. The sketch did include special guest stars including Maya Rudolf (who played Kamala Harris), and Larry David (who played Bernie Sanders). Could they have not asked former Latino “SNL” comics Fred Armisen or Horatio Sanz to play Castro?

“Interesting that @nbcsnl decided to cut one candidate out of this sketch. Could you not find a Latino actor to play @JulianCastro?” Sawyer Hackett, national press secretary for Castro’s campaign, tweeted. 

People on social media were livid at the exclusion of Castro and once again their dismissive attitude toward Latinos. 

Credit: @natimontelongo / Twitter

Was it too difficult for “SNL” to add one more actor to the stage, especially one that is still in the running — unlike Williamson? Lin-Manuel Miranda and his dad said they would have both stepped up to the plate to play the role of Castro. 

It’s as if “SNL” continues to make the wound even deeper by excluding the only Latino candidate. 

Credit: @latinovictoryus / Twitter

“SNL” knows very well that representation matters, so there’s no excuse for this exclusion. Are they doing this on purpose?

Maybe they think Castro’s persona isn’t funny enough to include in a parody?

Credit: @MrMikeBlake / Twitter

If “SNL” has talented writers they could have surely written something hilarious for an actor portraying Castro. We already have staggering facts that show film and TV excludes Latinos in overwhelming statistics, so you would think “SNL” (and all programming for that matter) would want to rectify that. Maybe they just don’t care?

“SNL” has a long history of dissing Latinos, so this just makes it worse.

Credit: @JuanSaaa / Twitter

Latino viewers and talent have been asking for more representation for several seasons now. There was celebration from fans when Melissa Villseñor was brought on in 2016.

Many people see their omission of Castro as the show disregarding Latinos.

Credit: @cristela9 / Twitter

This overt move by “SNL” actually made the skit not very funny but cringeworthy. The erasure of the only Latino running for the presidency was glaring.

You know “SNL” messed up bad when Latina moms get involved. 

Credit: @anabpez9 / Twitter

If you make Latina moms mad, asking for their forgiveness won’t be easy to do. Trust us. We have all been there. However, when you really try to make things up to them, they will accept it.

Since “SNL” screwed up the premiere, will they correct their huge mistake by the next episode?

Credit: @XorjeO / Twitter

There’s another debate coming up very soon, and if “SNL” is going to stay relevant in the political comedy stage they better include Castro or they will risk not only alienating a core audience but also looking like they can’t handle diverse comedy.

And, if “SNL” can’t find anyone to play Castro, there’s one person that will be happy to do it. 

Credit: @Castro4Congress / Twitter

Julian’s twin brother, Joaquin Castro — who’s pretty busy right now working on Capitol Hill himself — said he could step in and portray him on the show. We think he’d do a fabulous job because he clearly knows him best right?

Either way, “SNL” needs to get their act together. There’s no reason to exclude a strong candidate for president only to be replaced by a white woman who isn’t running for president anymore. It’s an obvious omission that “SNL” needs to stop. 

READ: New Latina “SNL” Cast Member Called Out Over Controversial Tweets

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Bowen Yang’s Call To Action Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Echoes The Pain Of A Community Under Attack

Things That Matter

Bowen Yang’s Call To Action Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Echoes The Pain Of A Community Under Attack

On March 27, SNL’s Bowen Yang joined “Weekend Update” to deliver a powerful message on the rise in anti-Asian violence. Initially providing some comic relief to the situation, Yang’s tone shifted as he asked the audience to “fuel up.”

“I don’t even want to be doing this ‘Update’ piece,” Yang admitted and in hindsight, he shouldn’t have to.

Yang’s piece began with playful banter between him and ‘Update’ host Colin Jost who referred to him as the “Asian cast member.” While intentionally harmless, the joke alludes to the tokenism of BIPOC voices in pop culture. But Yang’s delivery remains poignant and timely, so listen up.

Diversity on Saturday Night Live is slim. In 2019 Yang became the first Chinese-American cast member and the fourth-ever cast member of Asian descent in SNL’s history. Quickly becoming a fan favorite on the show, other controversies nearly overshadowed his spotlight.

Two years ago SNL announced that they had hired Shane Gillis, but a video of him using anti-Asian slurs began to circulate. Though he issued an apology, Gillis was off the show.

While Yang did not mention this, the dire need to address performative activism and bystander culture are pertinent.

As coronavirus cases began to surge last spring, an epidemic of race-based hate crimes followed suit.

Addressing the recent surge in violent attacks, Yang said “things for Asians have been bleak for the past two weeks; and all the weeks before that.”

According to Stop AAPI Hate’s National Report, verbal harassment, shunning and physical assault were the most common forms of discrimination against Asian Americans.

In addition, 68 percent of hate crimes were reported by Asian women.

On March 17, eight people—including six Asian women—were killed in a mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. The refusal to call the shooting “racially motivated” enraged the public as the rise in brutal attacks intensified.

A day after the Atlanta attack, 76-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie was attacked in San Francisco. She became a viral story on social media after fighting back against her assailant and sending him to the hospital. On March 29, two more anti-Asian hate crimes were reported in New York.

A 65-year-old Filipino woman was verbally and physically attacked on her way to church in Midtown. An Asian man was assaulted and choked on a Manhattan-bound (J) train. The examples of hate crimes on people of Asian descent in the U.S. are limitless and paint a broader picture of the violence terrorizing the community.

As online resources have circulated, Yang wittily critiqued minimal social media solidarity.

When Jost asked if the satirical resources were helpful Yang said, “What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?”

“If someone’s personality is punched an Asian grandma, it’s not a dialogue,” he went on. “I have an Asian grandma; you want to punch her. There ain’t no common ground, mama.”

To those who believe menial forms of support like ordering from a Chinese restaurant or tipping your nail technician are enough, Yang said “Do more!”

Following Xie’s attack, Yang mentioned that her GoFundMe page raised $900,000 which she gave back to her community. “That’s where we are as Asians, now come meet us there,” he said.

As a comedian, Yang said that he’s not just looking for solutions online, but around him.

When reporting potential danger in New York, the saying is “if you see something, say something.” The lack of bystander intervention towards anti-Asian hate crimes is detrimental.

In the case of the 65-year-old woman, whose attacker was charged with a hate crime, the lack of intervention by three bystanders sparked criticism. All workers at a luxury condo where the incident was captured, the three bystanders have since been suspended for their lack of action.

However, witnessing a violent attack may not prompt immediate action out of fear. Luckily resources like Hollaback! are providing free virtual bystander training workshops on safe intervention.

Teaching the five D’s: distract, delegate, document, delay and direct—allies can safely learn to de-escalate incidents. This is just the start to doing more.

Being a proactive ally also includes holding people accountable, educating yourself on the history of anti-Asian sentiments, and donating to civil rights organizations.

To stay engaged listen to Bowen Yang who said, “It’s the year of the metal ox, which basically means a car. So everyone get in, buckle up, it’s no pee breaks. We ride at dawn, grandmas!”

Read: Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

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Retired Detective Rafael Tovar Recalls Working John Wayne Gacy Case In New Peacock Docuseries

Entertainment

Retired Detective Rafael Tovar Recalls Working John Wayne Gacy Case In New Peacock Docuseries

John Wayne Gacy shocked the world with is violent and terrifying crimes. The serial killer operated in the Chicago suburbs and killed at least 33 people. “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise” digs deep into the story that true crime enthusiasts think they know.

Peacock is releasing a new true-crime docuseries “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.”

NBC News Studios is bringing a new true-crime docuseries to the streaming world with “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.” The documentary promises to take even those who know the story of John Wayne Gacy through parts of the case and serial killer that few know.

The docuseries relies on interviews from law enforcement, neighbors, victims, and family members affected by the murders. Retired Detective Rafael Tovar and Executive Producer Alexa Danner spoke with mitú about working the the case and creating the docuseries.

Tovar was the first Spanish-speaking police officer in the Chicago suburbs in 1970. Eight years later, Tovar was helping to unravel the horrific murders committed by John Wayne Gacy.

“It was a phase into the case because when we first started, we were working on a missing person report for one person, never figuring that it was going to turn out to be what it turned out to be,” Tovar recalls about the case. “It was something new every day until we started digging that’s when everything broke loose, and it became the case of a lifetime for a police officer.”

The former Des Plaines detective remembers the moment that case was going to be much more than anticipated. Around December 21, when the officers executed a second warrant on John Wayne Gacy’s suburban home, Tovar and other authorities made gruesome discoveries. Tovar remembers digging under the house with an evidence technician when they discover three left femurs. The bones were too decayed to belong to the last victim, Robert Piest.

“The John Wayne Gacy story has certainly been told multiple times over the year and I think that there is a sense that there’s a narrative out there that is known and accepted,” Alexa Danner, an executive producer on the docuseries says. “What we really found as we began to produce this documentary was that there are a lot of questions that remain about the case. There’s a lot of mystery still surrounding it.”

Danner promises that even those who think they know the John Wayne Gacy story well will learn new things about the crimes. “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise” talks to people never interviewed before and takes a hard look at the case like never before.

The investigation into John Wayne Gacy changed law enforcement practices drastically. Procedures were adjusted to better assist with missing persons reports, especially children. Tovar also shared that John Wayne Gacy himself claimed to have had other victims.

“I was transferring him from our police lockup to the county lockup. Just in conversation, I asked him, ‘John. There are a lot of numbers going around. How many people did you kill?’ and he said, ‘Well, I’ve said this, I’ve said that, but 45 sounds like a good number.’ So I asked him, ‘Well, where are they?’ He said, ‘No. That’s your job to find out,’” Tovar recalls about that conversation. “He was the type of guy that knew that you knew something or that you were going to find out, he’d be totally honest with you. If he didn’t think that you were going to find out, he liked to play mind games with you. I believe him. Everything else he told me was true, so I believe that there are more out there.”

The show will take people through Gacy’s life before the violent attacks he became known for after his arrest. It will show people the life he had in Iowa that might have been a warning sign of things to come. The docuseries explores lingering questions about his mother’s ignorance about her son’s dealings and questions about the real body count.

Danner recalls a psychiatric report done on Gacy after his arrest that should have given everyone pause.

“It essentially said that this man would not stop behaving like this. There’s no known way to stop his behavior or change it,” Danner says. “To look back ten years before he’s arrested for all of these killing and know that he was already being assessed that way or diagnosed that way is really troubling and horrible.”

“John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise” will be available for streaming March 25 on Peacock.

READ: New Netflix Docuseries Explores The Summer The Night Stalker Terrorized Los Angeles

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