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Author Of The Dirty Girls Social Club Calls TV Adaptation "Racist"

| Filed under: Icky Icky PooTV NewsLatinolicious


Oh dear.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, author of the New York Times Bestseller The Dirty Girls Social Club, is calling the TV adaptation of her book "racist, adding that her beloved characters have become "bastardizations" of her original vision.

After getting a hold of the script from an NBC employee, Alisa has said that the series "holds zero appeal for me," when she saw that all the black characters in her book were either removed or changed races and all the Latina females were sexually promiscuous.

Valdes-Rodriguez was so upset with what she saw, she took to her blog to write an angry response:

"[Ann Lopez] (George Lopez's ex-wife) assured me that as a Latina, [screenwriter] Luisa [Leschin] 'gets it.' I believed her. Stupid me. I trusted Ann that she would make good on her promise to run all major changes past me. I trusted her that she would give me final approval of each and every script. I trusted her implicitly and like a sister – in fact, everyone tells me Ann and I are identical in appearance! – until… Ann failed to do any of the things she’d promised, and began to treat me like a pesky intern she wished would go away.

I got [the script] from a lowly 'no one' in the company who is, like so many 'no ones' across this world, loyal to the book’s message of dignity for all walks of life and all people. … I was horrified by what Luisa had done to my book – and even more horrified to discover NBC had requested I be brought in as the writer, only to be told no by Ann.

Luisa managed to weed out every non-U.S. African diaspora character. Put simply, she killed off all the black folks in my story. In her hands my black Colombian character Elizabeth becomes 'a sizzling Colombian' (because we might as well employ cliched language in addition to de-Africanizing her); my mulatta Puerto Rican/Dominican character Usnavys becomes African-American, non Latino, and ends up adhering to every stereotype of the fat-n-sassy oversexed negress 'diva' that Hollywood has ever flung at the viewing public; and my Nigerian-British millionaire heartthrob, Andre Cartier, becomes Andre Carter, an East Indian by way of London. … There is no discernible reason for these changes, other than anti-black racism."

We'd be angry too! The book had so much appeal and the TV script just sounds like another "Hollywood" stereotype.


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39 comments to “Author Of The Dirty Girls Social Club Calls TV Adaptation "Racist"”

  1. 1

    This is really sad! So disappointed!

  2. 2

    Glad to know, as a diaspora black with lots of disposable cash, I will not be watching this show. The triple disrespect–taking out the diaspora characters, inexplicably disrespecting the creators vision, and having all of this done by a Latina no less–is appalling and shameful.

    No wonder George Lopez is divorcing her a$%!!!

  3. 3

    Re: gmoney0 – George Lopez doesn't know the first thing about being a Mexican, pleaaase! Look what he did to the Mexican community with his own show. This does not surprise me at all!:(((

  4. 4

    Re: Mad Dog – Seriously, YOU are in desperate need of a bullet between the eyes. But in the mean time, go fuck yourself. Merry Christmas.

  5. 5

    Is it a surprise? Not to me with all of the black tv shows that are on NBC..Oh let's count..0…You have Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock but that's about it. So it doesn't surprise me that NBC would do that to her script.

  6. 6

    I applaud you Ms. Valdes - Rodriguez for your effort, honesty and integrity. You are an example to people of all ethnic backgrounds. Thank you.

  7. 7

    And that is what happens when hollywood take any book and try to turn it into a movie or tv show. Either they would add,remove or change a character just to made it into their own hollywood version. Some movies were able to pull it off and others had not.

  8. 8

    Wow. Sad. Just very very sad.

  9. 9

    Her characters are a huge part of why I loved her books in the first place. It's a shame to hear this.

  10. 10

    Most of America is over the whole "poor me I'm black and my anchestors were in slavery 200 years ago". It just doesn't sell anymore. Hollywood is in the money making business, not pleasing the few pathetic liberals who want every story line to put non-whites on a pedestal and paint whites as evil and greedy. Sterotypical black pesonalities are a hit. Tyler Perry?

  11. 11

    Re: SnowBoarder4LIFE

    Stereotypical black characters have always been a "hit," you douche.

  12. 12

    Sounds like they made it more realistic.

  13. 13

    She should not have "trusted" anyone with her story. But … were her characters a true racial representation of the countries they came from? Only 4% of Columbians are "African." In the 2000 census, 80% of Puerto Ricans choose the racial designation "white," not that there aren't mulatta PRican/Dominicans. She is more likely, however, to be mulatta in being half-Dominican. Of all the Caribbean islands, PR imported the least amount of African slaves.

    continued in next post

  14. 14

    I don't understand why she would say it was anti-black racism if the characters are still black? Except for the East Indian, but that kind of adds "diversity?" If she's going to claim discrimination, maybe it's anti-Latino? But then again, the majority of Hispanics are "white," although as racism goes, Latin America imported three times as many African slaves to Latin America as did Anglo Americans to North America. Many Latin American countries, including Puerto Rico, also had later emacipation dates for their slaves than did the United States. This being, of course, before the Spanish American war, before PR became a US territory. The Latin African American "diaspora" also continue to be poorer and more marginalized than their North American counterparts. Maybe that's why she made her characters black, to redress the social justice Latin African Americans suffer under?

    I would suggest that the "fat and sassy, oversexed 'nigress,' "(HER WORD!) is not so much a cliche in the world I live in. So, I'm kind of perplexed by her "anti-black" accusation. It's like she's trying to pull the white-people-are-racists schtick when it doesn't seem to be the case?

  15. 15

    the last airbender and prince of persia were racist in casting too, they should just be happy colored actors got work geeze! god when will they learn their place in hollywood

  16. 16

    This woman is crazy. Ask everyone that has ever worked with her..google her name and see what trouble she stirred with the LA TImes. She may have written one good novel but she doesn't know the first thing about how Hollywood works. I know Ann Lopez and this is all about an unstable author. I hope NBC, Lopez and Leschin set the record straight.

  17. 17

    very sad that's how tv is though…look at the black girl in Glee…

  18. @v@ says – reply to this


    It was good the way it was. Why do these idiots keep spoon feeding the masses adulterated garbage? They give people no credit, and are contributing to racism and the dumbing down of viewers. What an insult. Their 'improvements' are not.

  19. 19

    This woman is NUTS and has a persecution problem. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez is known as a CRAZY! She did the same thing with the LA TIMES. She made stuff up to try to make them look like the bad guys. This woman lies through her teeth. It is obvious she is pissed she is not writing the script. She says NBC wanted her to write it but Ann Lopez said no….if a network wants a writer then they get them. I'm positive NBC didn't want her. She lies!!!! from what i can see they changed two of the characters..one to white and one to black and four are still Latinas. So what, it'll appeal to a larger audience.To call NBC and Ann Lopez anti-black is ridiculous but then again Ms. Valdes is ridiculous. Her book sold 600,000 copies 11 years ago. that doesn't make it a mega hit. I'm team Ann…she is one of the good people in Hollywood!

  20. 20

    Re: IsabelLovesTruth – THANK YOU! I have been wondering why people of all races have just accepted that show. I always thought it was what we black folks would refer to as "coonery".

  21. 21

    This woman hates being latina. She wrote an article in the boston globe some years back saying she hated when people called her latina even though her father is pure latina. She was also known at the Globe as being super sensitive about her racially mixed background. Google her name and you'll see what I'm talking about. It was when people started calling her coconut that she started "writing" these latino novels.

  22. 22

    Other than them getting rid of the African part in a half-African character, I don't anything AT ALL about it that's racist against black people. Hell, they even turned a non-black character into a black one! But racist or non-racist, they should not have made those major changes to the script without her consent.

  23. 23

    Wow. That's very upsetting. Sounds like her book was great and diverse. Typical Hollywood. Well, I'm glad you said something and threw the truth out into the open. I WON'T be watching the show now! Thank you!

  24. 24

    too bad these professional latinas couldn't work this out without the claws. now everyone loses because there will be no show and their actions have become part of the spitfire latina stereotype. one step forward, 10 years back for american latino projects in entertainment.

  25. 25

    oops forgot one thing…. Ann Lopez you are smart and classy to stay silent and not address these ridiculous claims from this crazy chick. She is digging herself into a hole. One Ms. Valdes is very likely to get sued in. Ann Lopez you are fabulous!!!

  26. 26

    Thanks for posting this Perez, big fan of Alisa, big fan of the book. this is terrible news:(

  27. 27

    A lot of people here have said that Alisa is "crazy." I can't entirely disagree. If nothing else she has a reputation of being extraordinarily hyperbolic so when I 1st heard of this I dismissed it as her being oversensitive…until I read snippets of the teaser. I don't know if the script is racist against blacks but God knows it's racist against Latinas. In the book Alisa's character Rebecca is a conservative Republican who is vigilant about making sure she always behaves and a dignified and prideful manner. She disapproves of promiscuity and lewdness. She has an insane work ethic and she is hyper-sensitive to the way others perceive her. In the script when we first meet Rebecca she is standing on a coffee table at a crowded party wearing panties and flashing her boobs at some drunk jocks. In fact ALL the Latina characters behave in a similar manner when we meet them. The fact that even the most uptight character in the book is made to fit into the sizzling-slutty-flashy-exhibitionist Latina stereotype IS offensive and although I'm sure Anne didn't intend for it to be racist it really DOES perpetuate racist stereotypes at a time when hate-crimes against Latin Americans are on the rise. Alisa may be crazy, but she's also right.

  28. 28

    Considering that Ms. Valdes-Rodriquez's book did it's fair share to reinforce Latina stereotypes, that she's now calling out a writer for one-upping her is laughable. It's sad to see that an already hack novel was turned into something even more tacky, but she willing signed the option contract and was singing their praises not too long ago.

    This is just another self-serving drama in a long line of the same that she's using for her own proposes. She may have some real grievances with the adaption (which is why she has an agent who should be doing his/her job and protecting her from herself), but as she's proven in the past, she's incapable of handling much of anything in any sort of professional manner. She'll attack and use her "minions", as she's referred to her supporters, for her own agenda. Even if she's in the right, this makes her look bad and makes Latina authors look exactly like the stereotypes she’s supposedly so offended by.

    I hope this blows over quickly, she gets her option rights back and next time, if there is one, her agent takes better care of her interests.

  29. 29

    Razzelberry, from what i have heard the opening sequence shows the girls being wild in college and then picks up 10 years later when they are approaching 30. Rebecca is very straight laced, type A, and wound up tight like in the book. What i think and i could be wrong is that it shows the girls being free and wild in college as many of us are, and shows them 10 years later. Some are the same, some have changed but their friendship remains. i don't see why this is racist? Many girls are wild in college and high school for that matter. If the script had shown only the 4 Latina characters being wild and the Caucasian and Black character not being wild then i would say that could be interpreted as racist. But all the girls are wild so it is obviously some bonding point for all the characters. It is different from the book but they are not making the exact book. In the book Sara was a battered wife which I always thought was a Latin stereotype. i think what is a shame is the Ms. Valdes is trying to bash this project. She has a reputation and she is living up to it. I hope she sticks to the solitary world of writing books. Her people skills are horrible.

  30. 30

    What the hell? I'm a big fan. Totally disgusted by this. You best believe that I won't be watching the show unless it acurately represents the vision I fell in love with in the book. I can't even believe that something like this would go down now. Hollywood needs to get it clear- we want smart and dignified models for women of color. I don't want any more portrayals of hot & hoochie latinas or black women. I'm so tired of that stuff!

  31. 31

    Have you checked out Alisa's updated blog in the last two days…Perez would be wise to report that NBC has issued a letter to her to stop blogging and that CAA has droped her as a client. Why doesn't he check out the incident she had with AfterEllen.com…Alisa is known for these bipolar tirades. There is nothing racist about writing about sex honestly. Was SEX IN THE CITY racist? Give me a break…she names her book Dirty Girls Social Club and then gets pissed that the girls are portrayed "dirty?

  32. 32

    Sanfed and arriviste: when I said Alisa was "right," I didn't meant to imply that she was handling things "right." My 1st thoughts when this blew up were A) that Ann was having a horrible year. 1st the divorce-mess & then 2 days before Xmas she's publicly accused of being a racist & it's published here, where her 14/yr-old kid is bound to hear about it and B) we are watching a woman (Alisa) self-destruct in a truly awful and public manner. If I were Alisa's friend I'd be reaching out to her & trying to pull her back from the precipice. I haven't read the full script but the teaser of a pilot tends to set the tone for the whole show & while yes, we were all a little wild in college how many of us danced around wearing nothing but panties at a college party? As far as I can tell none of the white characters were portrayed as acting slutty, even in college. Only the ethnic ones. Sara's story in the book rubbed me the wrong way too but making her a white American being raped by her Latino husband makes the ethnic connotations of that drama infinitely worse. Again, I don't think Ann had malicious intent but it must be gut wrenching for Alisa to see her one unqualified success used to perpetuate ideas and images she feels she has spent her life fighting to destroy.

  33. 33

    @razzelberry-um, do we really think NBC is going to have a rape in what sounds like from the teaser a light, fun, girly show? Perhaps that's Alisa's gross exaggeration??? Something isn't adding up here.

  34. 34

    Re: lavidaloca – No, I meant the rape is apparently in the episode, which is fairly consistent w/the book EXCEPT now we're seeing the nice white lady being raped by the "hot-blooded" Cuban. The teaser, from what I can tell, is just filled with lots of Latinas acting sluttier than the average chick on a Girls Gone Wild DVD.
    As for Alisa…well, look, if someone shoots themselves in the foot you can say, "She's such a friggin' idiot for doing that!" or you can say, "What kind of psychological turmoil must this person be in to do something like this?" What's going on with DGSC would be hard for any writer to endure, let alone one who is troubled. I feel enormous compassion for Alisa & I hope someone close to her is able to help her battle her demons.

  35. 35

    Razzelberry, I have read the pilot script. In the opening it is a flashback and ALL the girls are being wild white ,black and latina. Sara is not "raped" by her husband. They are trying to have a baby, he wants it more than she and he wants to have sex a lot to make a baby. That is not rape. Once again Alisa lying and making crap up!!!! The script is funny, smart and sexy. I am a Latino and I didn't see any stereotypes in it. It is about women, their lives and their friendships. They just happen to be latinas, white and black. I enjoyed the script. The book was great but dated. It was never meant to be a straight adaptation. It was always going to be loosely based on the book. No writer likes their work changed but that is what an option is and she took the deal. It is sad she has lied and tried to make NBC and the producers look bad. as you said Alisa has had these bipolar rants before. She thinks that she can say what she wants, lie and there will be no consequences. Well she better be prepared because a lot of shit is coming her way for this stunt.

  36. 36

    Ms. Valdes was just dropped by her agent at CAA and who does she blame for this…Ann Lopez. Really, what about you lying, what about you illegally publishing material owned by NBC…yes you not Ann Lopez. Why don't you take responsibility for your actions instead of blaming everyone else. They dropped you because of NBC and what you did.

  37. 37

    wow!!!! I am glad more ppl are speaking up about sterotypes. I am glad i will not be watching this show and i will keep this bookmark to let my friends know

  38. 38

    I'm just pleased Perez classified so appropriately as 'Icky Icky Poo.' Nothing describes her better when she's having one of her meltdowns.

  39. 39

    Re: sanfed#62
    Just to let you know, the LA Times are horrible so there might be some truth to her story in regards to that.