Neil Patrick Harris and Ada Marris. (Getty)
Netflix apologizes for planned inclusion of ‘hurtful and derogatory’ Latina character in upcoming Neil Patrick Harris comedy Decoupled.
Prolific actress Ada Maris called out Netflix after receiving script for Decoupled which included a housekeeper character named Carmen, who spoke broken English and was described as “hysterical”.
The series comes from Darren Star, creator of Sex and the city and Emilie in Paris, and stars Harris as a gay man whose husband suddenly leaves him. Harris is also the executive producer of the series.
Maris received the script for the show from her agent and was shocked to find the character “hurtful and derogatory”. She said Variety: “I was shocked because I walked in expecting something very different given the way things are today and the progress we’ve made.”
The actor, best known for sitcoms Nurses and The Garcia brothers, wrote an open letter to Harris and Star asking them to “recognize the harm” caused by one-dimensional representation.
“I just want [writers] think the next time they write a character like that, ”she wrote, by Variety. “I speak for the young actors to come so that they are even less confronted with this than my generation. These media images shape our conceptions of ourselves. This is why it is really important that the performances are more realistic, not hurtful. We need to see ourselves more as we really are.
Maris added, “You are modern homosexuals. How would you like to watch or play an outdated and stereotypical homosexual role in an offensive way? “
Netflix has now cut the character from the series, recounting Variety: “We’re sorry Ms. Maris had a negative experience, and this character will not appear on the show.”
It is not known if the character was cut in direct response to Maris’ objections. Husbands said Weekly entertainment it was “gratifying to hear that the original character was cut from the show” but asked why the producers hadn’t taken the opportunity to add another latina character in place of Carmen.
The series is slated for release on Netflix in 2022 after filming begins in late October.