Five-time Emmy and a Tony recipient Neil Patrick Harris made headlines a few months back when he was said to make a return to Netflix to star in Darren Star’s upcoming comedy series Uncoupled.
However, the series has found itself in a bit of controversy ever since veteran film and television actor, Ada Maris, spoke up against the offensive and stereotypical portrayal of a Latina housekeeper on the show.
Following his success with Netflix rom-com series Emily in Paris, Star had donned his directorial hat for yet another Netflix milestone with his upcoming series. He managed to sign Harris as the lead character, Michael.
Michael is supposed to have a perfect life until one day, his husband of 17 years walks out of his life without giving him closure that leaves him shattered and bamboozled.
Overnight, he loses his soulmate and finds himself to be an unfortunate and lonely single gay man in NYC and finally understands what nightmares are made of.
Maris has written an open letter addressing the controversy, the Mexican actress has appeared in a variety of roles since the 1980s in shows like The Garcias, Nurses etc., and is a well-known figure. She has expressed her anger at the kind of role she was assigned to and the one-dimensional portrayal of it.
Calling it “hurtful and derogatory”, Maris said, “I was shocked because I walked in expecting something very different given the way things are nowadays and the progress we’ve made.”
Having been assigned to the role of Carmen, Harris’ housekeeper on the show, the character required her to be “hysterical” while talking to Harris in a grammatically incorrect, and broken English accent while narrating a robbery. The stereotypical depiction of a Latina housekeeper contradicts the surge of complex and nuanced characters which compelled Maris to write an open letter to Harris and Star against the stereotypical marginalisation of communities.
In her letter, she says, “You are modern gay men. How would you like to watch or play an outdated, offensively stereotypical gay part?” Maris is seemingly frustrated and said that she is “speaking out for the younger actors coming up so they face even less of that than my generation has.”
This is not the first time Star has been accused of stereotyping communities as he was heavily criticised for his stereotypical and snobbish depiction of the French people in Emily in Paris.
Netflix has promised to take down the character and has apologised to Maris for causing her “discomfort”. They have also promised to be more mindful of “the harm that it does to everyone. Both to people who are Latino and people who are not”.
Star’s upcoming venture, the second season of Emily in Paris is scheduled for a December 22nd release.
Here is everything that we know about season two.