Entertainment

“Sesame Street” Is The Latest Neighborhood To Experience Gentrification

I always had the suspicion that “Sesame Street” might not be as nice a place as it was portrayed on TV. There was that alcoholic Oscar the Grouch, who spewed hate from his garbage home. Then there was that blue guy, Grover, who never wore pants around children. Come to think of it, a lot of those pervert muppets walked around half-naked. And don’t even get me started on Aloysius Snuffleupagus! But who knew the worst was yet to hit the Street: gentrification.

This release is brought to you by the letters:
G-E-N-T-R-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N.

Gentrification starts with just one person.

Take your progressive ideas elsewhere.

Seriously, it won’t be long before we see this hipster muppet on the show, I guarantee it.

hipster_muppet

Say goodbye to your childhood.

November 10, 1969. Season 1. #sesamestreetday

A photo posted by Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) on

Read: Sesame Street’s New Resident Speaks About Being Latina, Bilingual, And Proud

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Brand Is Being Called A ‘Culture Vulture’ After Being Accused Of Gentrifying Latino Cooking

Culture

This Brand Is Being Called A ‘Culture Vulture’ After Being Accused Of Gentrifying Latino Cooking

Granddriver / Getty Images

As a kid growing up in a Latino household, pretty much everyone had a giant molcajete for grinding up spices and making salsas, or a tortilladora for whipping up homemade tacos and quesadillas. And as staple of pretty much any Latina home, they weren’t that expensive either.

Well, one online company has taken all of that and flipped it upside down to try and make a very hefty profit by bringing ‘artisan crafted’ products into people’s homes – helping them experience a ‘cultural journey.’

The store’s outrageous prices for such traditional kitchen items is generating tons of criticism alone from people calling them ‘culture vultures’ and accusing them of gentrifying Latino cooking and cultural appropriation.

Verve Culture is being called a ‘culture vulture’ for taking traditional Latino cooking tools and selling them at insanely high prices.

Credit: MiComidaVegana / YouTube

Verve Culture – an online store dedicated to bringing “you on a cultural journey” – is facing a series of complaints after profiting from traditional cultural products. The company sells typical products in the preparation of three traditional cuisines at very high prices: Mexican, Moroccan, and Thai.

In the case of traditional Mexican products, the company sells orange and lemon juices; accessories for making chocolate, blown glasses, and molcajetes. And at insanely high prices: a molcajete for $60, a tortilla press for $60, a Mexican chocolate set for $80, and a “Mexican hand juicer” for $15.

The company is obviously profiting off of traditional products of a culture that is too often denigrated – or on the other end of the spectrum, fetishized. Brands are no stranger to appropriating traditional cultural items to boost sales but this particular instance seems to have hit a major nerve with shoppers.

Like, for real?! A molcajete for $60 USD?!

Among some of the most outrageous priced items is a molcajete and tortillero set that goes for $60 USD. That’s literally 20 times more expensive than it should cost.

As someone who lives in Ciudad de México, and who does their shopping at local tianguis and mercados, I have literally bought the exact same set Verve Culture is selling. I paid $60 pesos for the set – not $60 USD – or about $3 USD.

Selling items like this at such inflated prices means Verve Culture is profiting off of the cultural and gastronomic identity of an entire country. So it’s no surprise that Mexican Twitter lit up in shock and anger.

The reaction on Twitter was swift and full of outrage.

A Tweet showing off the outrageously priced products and accusing the brand of “gentrifying Mexican kitchen cookware” already has 36,000 likes and almost 20,000 retweets.

Among some of the comments include one Twitter user who said “Take your site down. This is an insult to Mexican culture along with all the other cultures you’re profiting off. Our culture is not your home decor!”

Another user tweeted, “…not of them is brown so it should really be named stolen culture because they’re selling fancy versions of things traditional to Mexican culture. Having one is fine, profiting off of a minority or their culture is not fine.”

While at least one person pointed out that the people who craft these items have long been taken advantage of. In a tweet, she said “Culturally we’ve been taught that our incredible craft and culture are worth close to nothing for years now, I really wish we could just collectively erase this mindset but at this point it’s so deeply rooted that thinking differently even feels “wrong” most times.”

Many pointed out that if you want to respect a culture’s food, support actual locals and artesanos.

Shopping online from three women who are not from the communities they’re profiting off of, is now way to support that community. That should be common sense but that site seems to have many customers.

As one Twitter user pointed out, if you really want to support local trabajadores, you should be buying directly from them. Shop in your local flea markets, your Latinx-owned shops and markets, this is how you’ll best help artisans.

The company’s $60 tortilla press was even featured in a Buzzfeed article earlier this year.

In the article, the author points out that the “tortilla press is made in Mexico from old Singer sewing machines and other recycled irons! The cast iron should last you, basically, forever so it’s definitely worth your money.”

That’s all great but where is that money going? How much of the $60 is the Mexican, Moroccan, Thai artisan actually earning from Verve Culture’s sales?

So what is Verve Culture and what do they have to say about all of this?

According to their website, Verve Culture is “a women-run business spanning three generational groups from Baby Boomer, Gen X, to Millennial.” As founders, Jules and Jacquie are a mother and daughter team who have worked together for 27 years.

In the company’s about section, they go on to say, “We are in constant pursuit of life traveled fully.”

“Our vision is to explore the cultural richness of artisans and communities around the world – to educate and inspire, while honoring the traditions and heritage of their work.”

Despite these claims, Twitter has been loud and clear in its message: stop profiting off the backs of already underpaid and overworked artisans from around the world.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

‘Love, Victor’ Is The Feel Good LGBTQ Vibe We Need Right Now And It’s Finally Available To Stream

Entertainment

‘Love, Victor’ Is The Feel Good LGBTQ Vibe We Need Right Now And It’s Finally Available To Stream

Love, Victor / Hulu

Even though shelter-in-place orders are slowly being lifted across the United States, should we really be going out with cases reaching record new levels? Thankfully, there are tons of new TV shows coming our way to keep us entertained.

Although we may be missing some of our longtime favorites because of production delays in Hollywood, the summer promises plenty of binge-worthy shows to tide us over. One of those TV shows I’m most excited about – and you should be too! – is Love, Victor.

Hulu’s Love, Victor is finally available for us to binge watch in all of it’s LGBTQ glory.

Love, Victor is the follow up to the successful gay romcom Love, Simon. However, unlike it’s predecessor, Love, Victor is a series, which means it’s literally bingeable. And with Love, Victor we get a young, Latino lead who is struggling to discover his sexuality and what that means for his friendships, relationships, and family.

This sequel offers a touching extension of that story, with a new teen — having transferred to the same high school — experiencing his own coming-out story. Diverted to Hulu from Disney+, it’s a well-crafted teen soap, with a winning cast.

Victor (Michael Cimino) — the oldest of three kids — has moved to Creekwood High in Georgia, which feels positively progressive compared to his hometown in Texas.

He makes contact with Simon (Nick Robinson) via email, using him as a sounding board as he comes to grips with who is — and more to the point, who he loves. Of course, Victor isn’t the only one with secrets, including issues pertaining to his parents responsible for the family’s relocation.

Coming from a less accepting background, Victor struggles with the prospect of being anything but straight and sharing that with his family, exacerbated by a visit from his bigoted grandpa, who is judgmental about Victor’s little brother playing with the wrong kind of toys.

Love, Victor is the highly-anticipated sequel to the film, Love, Simon.

Credit: Love, Victor / Hulu

2018’s Love, Simon was a milestone in young, queer representation on the big screen. But it was also overwhelmingly white and seemed made for a straight audience. Sure, its protagonist, Simon, struggled with his sexual identity, but he did so from inside thick layers of privilege that kept him safe. He was white, he lived in a fancy Atlanta suburb with his liberal, warm parents — he could and did easily pass for straight.

That’s why, though it was packaged as a chance for LGBTQ+ kids to finally see themselves on screen in a mainstream love story, the movie played it a little too safe for many queer viewers.

Enter: Love, Victor, where in the pilot’s opening minutes, the series espouses a mission statement that engages with the film’s limitations in a way that seems promising.

The series is now available (finally!) to stream on Hulu!

Every episode of Love, Victor is now available for streaming on Hulu. So if you’re looking for Latinx LGBTQ representation on TV, definitely tune in to Love, Victor.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com