- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
"Devious Maids" is set to premiere on Lifetime on Sunday night, but the show's producer Eva Longoria is already having to defend the show over mounting criticism with the show's depiction of Latina women.
"There probably wasn't a Latina in the country who didn't initially roll her eyes of 'Oh great, here we go again. Another Latina character that's a maid,"' Damarys Ocana, executive editor of Latina magazine, told the Huffington Post.
The new Lifetime show is being criticized for portraying Hispanics in demeaning and stereotypical roles while also being accused of being "degrading" towards Latina women.
Longoria, however, has defended the show, which she produced with "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry.
"When we get any sort of backlash, sort of 'they are playing the stereotypical maids; my immediate response is that 'so you're telling me those stories aren't worth telling?'" the 38-year-old actress said in an online video promoting the show.
One of the actresses starring in the new show is Dominican-born actress Dania Ramirez, who revealed that she was put off by the show at first, but after becoming familiar with the script, was able to relate to it by using her own personal family story.
"That immigrant story is something I really related to … my parents moved to the States when I was six months old and they worked really, really hard for us, to get us visas," Ramirez told HuffPo. "I came and reunited with them when I was 10 years old. So I kind of get to explore that story from my mother's perspective."
The new television series is produced by Longoria and revolves around the story of five Latino housekeepers and their interactions with their wealthy Beverly Hills employers.
Longoria, who is an executive producer, also responded to the criticism in a blog titled "There's No Such Thing As A Wasted Opportunity."
"The only way to break a stereotype is to not ignore it," Longoria wrote in the blog. "The stereotype we are grappling with here is that as Latinas, all we are is maids. And yet, this is a show that deconstructs the stereotype by showing us that maids are so much more."