“The U.S market for Spanish-Language TV is exploding, and early signs that gay content may be an important part of the mix”- The Advocate
Telemundo in the late 21st and early 20th century, was one of the two national TV services in the United Sates producing dozen of hours of original content per week for the fast pace growing Hispanic/Latin market. Unlike their counterparts in Latin America, Telemundo and its rival Univisión were making moves into LGBT inclusiveness.
launched in October 1999 with a gay-male neighbor couple as supporting characters became a quick success for Telemundo and set the tone for representation for LGBT members in Hispanic Media. The show earned a remarkable laurel for Spanish-language television: a nomination for outstanding comedy series from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
The difference between the show and previous Spanish-language TV is that it didn’t perpetuate Hispanic gay men as flamboyant characters who were the stylist or the best friend. The representation of the two gay men were realistic; they were the “guys next door”.
Latina TV Allies
El show de Cristina 1989
Miami based Spanish-language TV talk-show broadcast on Univisión network feature LGBT discussion. One of her feature episodes she hosted a gay marriage on her show.
Laura en America 1998
Peruvian talk-show imported for Spanish-speaking audiences in the United States for broadcast on the Telemundo network that discussed controversial topics like homosexuality.
Both shows impacted how Spanish-Language TV aired information about LGBT. Both shows tackled the perception and ideas of LGBT in the Hispanic/Latin community when it came to same sex marriage and coming out.
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s United States produced Spanish-Language TV took a turn to push boundaries when it came to what kind of content the production companies wanted to put out for it’s viewers. The reasoning behind the transitional phase was not for advocacy purposes but the for increase of viewership and revenue. Both production companies saw there was a new market a niche audience for U.S Hispanics/Latins. Although both Telemundo and Univisión received backlash from their older, traditional Hispanic/Latin community; their viewership increased immensely with television formats that modeled U.S TV. For example, Spanish audiences would refer to Christina as the “Latin Oprah”.
Ricky Martin and the Latin Boom
A main contributor to the Latin Boom in late 1990’s to the early 2000’s was Ricky Martin. Ricky Martin’s performance of “Livin’ La Vida Loca’ on the 1999 Grammy Award’s show is widely credited for the Latin boom. Ricky Martin became the example of a “cross over” performer who reached both U.S and Hispanic markets.
Ricky Martin made another boom in 2010 when Ricky martin came out in a lengthy way in a blog in both Spanish and English. Ricky Martin stated in his personal letter “I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.”
Please see article attached with full letter *
Ricky Martin received both favorable and unfavorable remarks on his coming out story. Some believed it was disgrace to the Hispanic/Latin culture ; while the other half believes he was courageous for identifying himself as a homosexual. His coming out story set a platform for other Hispanic/Latin gay men to not be afraid and break the stereotype of what gay man is.
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