The upcoming Netflix comedy series “Uncoupled,” starring Neil Patrick Harris, will no longer feature a Latina housekeeper character after an actor publicly criticized the role for being stereotypical and flat.
Ada Maris, known for her roles in TV series such as “Mayans MC” and “Nurses” and the 1986 film “About Last Night,” told Variety that she considered the character to be demeaning and one-dimensional and that she was surprised to see such a role after a few recent strides in Latinx representation.
“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 said in an interview with the publication.
“Uncoupled” was created by Darren Star, who is also behind the TV shows “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Sex and the City” and “Emily in Paris.” It follows a man named Michael, played by Harris, who is blindsided when his husband of 17 years walks out on him and now must navigate both the dissolution of his marriage and single life in New York City as a gay man in his 40s.
Maris was shown portions of the script from the first episode featuring a character named Carmen, who is a housekeeper for the character Michael. In the first scene, according to Variety, Carmen is introduced as being “nearly hysterical on the phone,” calling Michael to tell him in broken English that she suspects his apartment has been robbed.
“Mister, I just get here and they stole!” her line said. “They stole! They rob you! I don’t know how they get in.”
In the second scene, Variety reported, Carmen berates Michael for the way he washed a glass, saying, “No, I do that. You don’t clean good, you always leave a ring.”
Reading the part for Carmen left Maris so outraged that she wrote an open letter to Star and Harris.
“I’m just fed up,” she 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.”
Harris is an executive producer for the series, but was not involved in writing or casting the role of the Latina housekeeper, Variety reported.
CNN has reached out to Netflix for comment. The streaming service said in a statement to Variety that it apologized to Maris and that the character had been dropped from the show.