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Netflix’s Neil Patrick Harris sitcom nixes Latina housekeeper character after objections

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A Netflix sitcom featuring “How I Met Your Mother” star Neil Patrick Harris is nixing a Latina housekeeper character after objections were raised by Mexican American actress Ada Maris.

The sitcom “Uncoupled” featured a Latina housekeeper who had two scenes in the first episode where she spoke broken English, Variety reported

The character, called Carmen, has one scene where she calls Michael, the owner of the house, saying “Mister, I just get here and they stole!”

She continues “They stole! They rob you! I don’t know how they get in.”

The second scene shows Carmen taking a glass away from Michael to wash, saying “No, I do that. You don’t clean good, you always leave a ring.”

“When I opened it and saw that it wasn’t even funny – it was hurtful and derogatory – I was shocked because I walked in expecting something very different given the way things are nowadays and the progress we’ve made,” Maris told Variety.

Maris has worked on multiple shows since the 1980s saying she is glad to see the progress made with Latino characters, but was appalled at the housekeeper depiction. 

The show was funded by Jax Media and MTV Entertainment Studios and created by Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman. Harris is one of five executives for the show, according to Variety.

The show is produced by Jax Media and MTV Entertainment Studios for Netflix and created by Darren Star and Jeffrey Richman. Harris is one of five executives for the show, according to Variety.

“You are modern gay men. How would you like to watch or play an outdated, offensively stereotypical gay part?” Maris said about Harris’s part in the show. 

She wrote a letter to Harris and Starr expressing her outrage at the depiction of the housekeeper that she shared with Variety. 

“I’m just fed up,” Maris said. “If I’m not going to say anything now, when am I going to say something? I just want (writers) to think the next time they write a character like that. I’m speaking out for the younger actors coming up so they face even less of that than my generation has.”

Maris hopes the executives consider the harm stereotypical portrayals can do to the Latino community. 

“We’re sorry that Ms. Maris had a negative experience, and this character will not appear in the series,” a Netflix spokesman told the outlet.

— Updated Nov. 16 at 4:13 p.m.

Tags Ada Maris Entertainment Latino representation Neil Patrick Harris Netflix

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