Entertainment

This TikTok User Went Viral For Making a Video About What a Latino Character in the Harry Potter Universe Would Look Like

Recently, a TikTok video went viral for spoofing what a Latino character would look like if he or she were written by JK Rowling. 

The minute-long video, entitled “If JK Rowling wrote a Latino character”, was created by TikTok user @Munchy_Monk, who also goes by the name “Louie”.

The video (which has now been viewed over 2 million times), starts with Munchy_Monk reading a “script” that JK Rowling sent him.

“Um, Ms. Rowling, I’m not really sure about this character,” he says, his voice full of trepidation. In the video, the imaginary “Ms. Rowling” responds by telling him to “read the bloody script before I call immigration.”

The video continues to be more outrageous from there. His tongue firmly in his cheek, Munchy_Monk runs through the gambit of stereotypes that the media typically portrays Latinos as doing.

With an exaggerated semi-Spanish-sounding accent (one that is all-too familiar for people who watch TV), the TikTok star pretends to be a gardener (“I’m-gardening-leviosa”), a line-cook (“Accio tacos and burritos!”), and a trouble-making student (“I ain’t take no potions. I ain’t even in potions class, foo.”). 

The video is also littered with punny jokes that play on Rowling’s whimsical word-choice. For example, Munchy_Monk pronounces the spell “stupify” as “estupify” and claims he comes from the Hogwarts house “Gryffindor-a the Explor-a”. 

via munchy_monks/TikTok

The TikTok video perfectly illustrates the way Rowling has depicted BIPOC characters in the past, as well as how the media generally portrays characters who have identities outside of what the media considers to be “standard” (i.e. white and straight). 

For a few years now, there have been subsets of the internet who have taken issue with Rowling’s portrayals of BIPOC and queer characters in the the Harry Potter universe. Many consider these characters to be tokenized depictions of what real non-white, non-straight people are actually like. 

Some fans have also grown frustrated to her public statement about Harry Potter characters–specifically how she publicly and retroactively “changedtheir backstories to “gain inclusivity points” without doing the the more meaningful work of writing inclusive characters in the first place. 

Although some fans celebrate Rowling’s fluid approach to the culture and identity of her characters, some claim that the post-publication changes feel inauthentic.

“The problem is we never see those elements of characterisation in the books themselves,” writer Kayleigh Anne wrote in The Independent. “The faith, race and sexuality of her characters has been shoe-horned in retroactively, and it can’t help but ring hollow.”

Of course, the icing on the problematic cake has been the recent transphobic comments and forthcoming book JK Rowling has made about and against trans people. All of these circumstances put into question JK Rowling’s status as an ally to queer and BIPOC people–if she ever was one in the first place.

But one thing is worth admitting: all of the above make Munchy_Monk’s TikTok video especially poignant and darkly hilarious.

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RuPaul And Cory Booker Find Out They’re Cousins And The Internet Couldn’t Be Happier

Entertainment

RuPaul And Cory Booker Find Out They’re Cousins And The Internet Couldn’t Be Happier

RuPaul / Telepictures

For awhile now those DNA ancestry test things have been super popular among people, as many want to learn more about their family’s past. Which makes sense: so many of us want to feel a connection to our ancestors and know more about our roots.

Well, if you’re a celebrity there’s a show called Finding Your Roots that’s literally dedicated to helping explore the roots of America’s cultural icons. One of the show’s most recent guests was none other than America’s Drag Queen Superstar RuPaul.

In his episode, he discovered that he was related to a sitting U.S. senator and the pair are already hoping for a big family reunion sometime soon!

RuPaul and Sen. Cory Booker find out their family thanks to a TV show.

The PBS show Finding Your Roots has been around for several seasons now, as it follows celebrities as they discover their family ancestry. It’s full of cute and heartwarming moments and also apparently it’s making families out of celebs as well.

On this week’s episode, which featured glamazon RuPaul (along with fashion designers Diane von Furstenberg and Narciso Rodriguez), the guests were treated to a deep dive into their personal genetics. When analyzing Ru’s admixture results, Gates and his team discover that he and Sen. Cory Booker are DNA cousins.

It turns out that Booker was a guest on the series back in Season 1, so when analysts compared his DNA with RuPaul’s, they found that they shared a “long stretch of identical DNA” from Ru’s first chromosome.

When host Henry Louis Gates Jr. shares the news with Ru along with a picture of Booker, Ru replies, “He looks like my kin!” He then adds, “There’s a sweetness about him that I’ve always loved, and an intellect that is undeniable. Every time I’ve ever seen him he reminds me of my cousin Yula.”

The show is called Finding Your Roots and it’s pretty addictive to watch.

Credit: Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Educator Henry Louis Gates Jr. has returned with new episodes of Finding Your Roots, which is now in its sixth season. The host “continues his quest to get into the DNA of American culture” by examining celebrities’ DNA and educating them about their ancestral histories.

The show has helped explore the pasts of major celebs including Ava DuVernay and Justina Machado to Alejandro González Iñárritu And Sandra Cisneros.

Cory Booker wants the world to know that he is ‘very happy’ with the family ties to Queen Mama, RuPaul.

A few days after the episode aired, Sen. Cory Booker was a guest on The Wendy Williams Show and he exclaimed “Yes!” when Wendy Williams told him the news. He went on to say that he had “told everybody that would listen in my world” about the news.

“Since [the show] keeps the data of past people, he saw RuPaul and I have a very strong common DNA chain which demonstrates that we’re very close cousins,” he said.

“So yeah, my mom knows, I just, I love RuPaul, and I haven’t had a chance to talk to him since the news was revealed but I was very happy about that news and I hope that he and I can have a family reunion sometime.”

The two cousins have even met up before. Last year, Booker, who was running for the Democratic presidential nomination at the time, appeared on the drag icon’s talk show “RuPaul.”

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Social Media Shows Up To Help Abuela Living In Dire Straights While Taking Care Of Disabled Great-Grandson

Things That Matter

Social Media Shows Up To Help Abuela Living In Dire Straights While Taking Care Of Disabled Great-Grandson

Isabel Zamudio / Getty Images

All too often we hear stories involving social media that don’t paint the best picture of the digital platforms. From trolls coming for people or fights and arguments going public to sexual harassment and doxxing, social media has so often been used as a tool to do harm.

Thankfully, though, that’s not always the case.

Now we get to tell the story of how one viral video has helped rescue a 90-year-old abuelita and her disabled 17-year-old great-grandson from dire straights.

A 90-year-old abuela and her great-grandson will soon have a new home thanks to support from social media.

Last week, a video was posted to social media about the dangerous and unsanitary conditions a 90-year-old woman and her great-grandson were living in. The woman, from Veracruz, Mexico, lived with her great-grandson, Pedro Miguel, in a shack with tarps for walls and rusted-out tin roof.

The shack was furnished with not much more than a bed, which got wet every time it rained. López’s children have died, her grandchildren have abandoned her, and Pedro is basically the only family she has.

Since the video went viral, DIF Family Services agency met with López and her grandson to assess their health and announced both would get the medications they need. Meanwhile, Leonor López, has been housed in a shelter for the elderly and Pedro was placed in a state-run home where each will remain until authorities can find a home for her and Pedro.

The great-grandmother and her great-grandson are all the other has.

Credit: Isabel Zamudio / Getty Images

Leonora has cared for Pedro ever since he was abandoned by his mother shortly after birth. The 17-year-old does not speak and suffers from epileptic seizures.

Before being placed in supportive housing, each day Leonor would leave her house with a rope tied to the arm of her great-grandson as they went out to collect whatever they could to earn money. Some days they’d collect aluminum cans or cardboard to sell and some days they’d visit verdulerías or even private homes to dig through the garbage to find something to eat.

Every two months Leonora would receive her disability pension of $2,500 pesos (or about $125 USD), which she had to use to buy medicines for Pedro. She also told Milenio that she owes money from the last time Pedro got severely ill.

“When he gets sick I take him to the hospital or to the Red Cross, but they charge me a lot, because he has seizures. This time he got sick I took him but they charged me $6,400 [pesos or ($320 USD)] for three days of care.”

However, since being taken into assisted care, Pedro has also been enrolled to receive his own disability pension, which will definitely help address his medical costs.

Sadly, there misfortunes haven’t ended there.

In what is truly a disappointing story, often times when Leonor and Pedro have gone out to try and earn what money they can, they’re home is robbed of what little they have. According to their neighbor Rogelio, the community hasn’t come to their support – instead they steal from the family.

“I don’t see someone coming to help her, on the contrary, what little she has there they steal from her, even though she is alone in her house they steal what little she can gather; people take advantage,” Rogelio told Milenio.

Thankfully, the viral video has helped spur change for the family and they’ll soon have a proper home and the government benefits they’re both entitled to.

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