Brownface Parody of 'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio Draws Intense Criticism

Playing

A Mexican television network is under fire after one of its regulars donned brownface makeup and a fake nose to mimic indigenous actress Yalitza Aparicio, star of the internationally acclaimed film "Roma."

Televisa has been criticized for the actions of Yeka Rosales, who posted images and videos of herself with darkened skin, exaggerated lips and prosthetic nose in an apparent parody of Aparicio at the Oscar ceremonies last month. 

The postings accompanied the season premiere of Televisa's series "La Parodia." Rosales is wearing a dress resembling the gown worn by Aparicio at the Hollywood awards, and she is holding an Oscar-like statuette.

Aparicio was nominated in the Best Actress category for "Roma," but lost to Olivia Coleman for her role in "The Favourite."

"It's disgusting. I'm kind of shaken up about it," Chicano studies professor Jennie Luna of California State University Channel Islands told The Associated Press. "This just shows how far we have to go and how far Mexico has to go."

She noted the actress, who is from Oaxaca, has previously been the target of racist online posts. 

Network spokesman Alejandro Olmos said Televisa condemns racism and discrimination. "We do not believe that the production of 'La Parodia' engages in his type of practice," he told the AP in an email. But he added that some comments were in "bad taste" and would be removed from the broadcast.

Rosales wrote "I do not discriminate" on a meme of herself in blackface and as Princess Leia. "I interpret people of all the skin colors and races and ages that exist in the world," she said in Spanish.

There is a long history of discrimination against indigenous people in Mexico. "The Mexican elite disposition has always portrayed indigenous people as funny and ugly," professor William Nericcio, of the Center fro Latin American Studies at San Diego State University told The AP. "Networks like Televisa profit from this."

RELATED STORIES  

Katy Perry Shoes Pulled From Stores for Resembling Blackface

How Controversies Are Renewing Conversation Around Blackface in America

Is 'Mary Poppins' Racist? Critic Says Iconic Chimney Sweep Scene Is 'Blackface'