(PNS reporting from HOLLYWOOD) Hoping to capitalize on the Devious Maids buzz, Fox will jump on the stereotypical Latino programming bandwagon with a new entry this fall called Foxy Farmworkers.
The show will follow a quirky group of “young, single and ready-to-mingle” Mexican farmworkers as they make their way from the impoverished US-Mexico border to fields in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Michigan.
Between backbreaking 14-16 hour days in the sun and working in the fields, the young men manage to get themselves into a world of trouble chasing after petite, white women in the towns they pass through, breaking hearts along the way.
“It’s like a cross between True Blood and Devious Maids,” said Alondra Martinez, a Fox representative. “Except more like Devious Maids in the fields and lots of sex,” she added. “And no vampires.”
Activists and online commentators are miffed by Fox’s new show, saying that it makes a mockery of a hard way of life that’s neither sexy nor nostalgic for many U.S. Latinos.
“Farmwork is hard, doesn’t pay well, the conditions are awful and there are tons of abuses,” said Adriana Mesa, a professor of communications at USC who wrote some book about the use of Latino stereotypes in TV and film.
“For someone to attempt to make it into a sexy lifestyle is not only ridiculous but insanely insensitive,” she told PNS. “Do these people have no shame?”
In order to diffuse criticism, Fox has hired only non-Mexican actors to play the parts of the studs, including Spaniard Antonio Banderas, Puerto Rican singer and occasional actor Marc Anthony, and Cuban actor William Levy, among others.
“We wanted Latino actors for realism, but we didn’t want to be too insensitive so we only hired non-Mexican eye candy,” Fox’s Martinez said. “Everybody wins!”