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Netflix Is Apologizing, Neil Patrick Harris' New Show Will Remove An Offensive Character After Complaint

In this day and age, Hollywood has been making serious efforts to become more inclusive when it comes to the kinds of people being featured in films and TV series. This, ideally, means showing multidimensional characters who don’t fall into long-used stereotypes or clichés. Though in recent years, some productions have still received backlash for using such tropes, and Neil Patrick Harris’ upcoming Netflix show is the latest to receive criticism. Veteran actress Ada Maris recently complained about an offensive character she discovered and, now, the streamer is apologizing and the show itself, which is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and JAX Media, is removing the character. 

Ada Maris received sides for a role in the upcoming show and recently explained that she was not happy with the character, who apparently used broken English when speaking. Per her comments to Variety, this was especially disappointing given the progress that’s been made with 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.

Ada Maris on BUILD Series

(Image credit: BUILD Series)

Ada Maris was originally being considered for the role of Carmen on Uncoupled. The Neil Patrick Harris-led comedy centers on a professionally accomplished man who must start over after his husband of 17 years leaves him. Carmen was reportedly meant to be the housekeeper of Harris’ character, Michael. In one scene, she calls her employer hysterically following what appears to be a robbery and says, “Mister, I just get here and they stole,” before later adding “They stole! They rob you! I don’t know how they get in.”

In the other scene, the character apparently grabs a glass from her boss, which he’d just washed out at his sink. After doing so, Carmen apparently says, “No, I do that. You don’t clean good, you always leave a ring.” 

Sometime after the veteran star’s complaints, Netflix responded, addressing her audition experience. And as previously mentioned, the streamer also confirmed the character’s current status: 

We’re sorry that Ms. Maris had a negative experience, and this character will not appear in the series.

Ada Maris has a career that spans nearly four decades, during which she’s starred and appeared on notable shows like Nurses, The Brothers Garcia, Star Trek: Enterprise and Mayans M.C. While speaking with the trade, Maris also seemed surprised that Neil Patrick Harris and show creator Darren Star, who she refers to as “modern gay men,” would find the Carmen character acceptable. As of this writing, neither Harris nor Star have commented on the matter, and it’s unclear if Maris’ comments are the true reason for the decision to drop the role.

The actress’ sentiments on representation absolutely ring true, and such a character is honestly disappointing in this modern age. If shows like On My Block and bilingual dramedy Gentefied (both Netflix productions) have proven anything, it’s that there are complex stories to be told, which feature layered Latinx characters.

Erik Swann

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.