A lot of work goes into creating a non-white television character! Creating everyone's favorite little Spanish-speaking explorer, Dora, took a year of planning with research, consulting and rounds of screenings with "tough" preschoolers. Not only that, the non-Latino creators have to be careful not to, you know, make any accidentally racist characters. When conceiving of Tico, Dora's friend, the creators were going to make him chronically fatigued until the show's "cultural consultants" told them that a lazy, sleepy-eyed Latino character was probably not best stereotype to be promoting. Also: the marketers were worried that a shorts-wearing, backpack-slinging (ethnic) girl would not appeal to a mass audience. Glad to see they were proven wrong! [NPR]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



@Xavoc: That's how Spain works as an entire country. I really wish we had Siestas in America. And nap rooms at work. And restaurants that served dinner until 1 a.m. And a regular practice of drinking with friends until at least 4 a.m. Ok, so I need to take a trip to Spain...

I think it's a little sad that realistic personality dimensions can't be added to all cartoon characters of all races and ethnicities. It'll be nice to get to a time when cartoons will have lots of races and colors, lots of backgrounds, and when people getting angry at each other, or taking naps, or being kids and being lazy or whatever isn't based on their characters ethnicity. After all, Jews get miserly, Hispanics get lazy, and Blacks get angry... and Hispanics get miserly, and Whites get angry, and Jews get lazy, and Asians get superficial, etc. etc. etc. We're all human; the best cartoons of all will eventually reflect that.