When a stand-up comedian like Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias does scripted television, it’s to be expected that a decent amount of improv would happen on set because he’s so good at telling jokes and reading the room. His Netflix show, Mr. Iglesias, while absolutely hilarious, has also become a platform for addressing real issues like alcohol abuse and recovery, school funding, race relations and more. One of these issues caused Mr. Iglesias to butt heads with a student, and Gabriel Iglesias shared in an interview with CinemaBlend that the rant his character does in the scene was very real.
It’s established early in the show that Marisol Fuentes (played by Cree Cicchino, and the girl is talented to say the least) is Mr. Iglesias’ favorite student. She’s the most intelligent, the most down to earth, and she and Mr. Iglesias are both Mexican American, but that doesn’t mean they always get along. In Part 2 of the series, Marisol gets upset about a taco truck, citing cultural appropriation, and Mr. Iglesias doesn’t see it that way. This leads to a heated discussion about the word Latinx, and here’s what Gabriel Iglesias shared about filming the scene:
We’re living in unprecedented times. On the one hand, it feels like people are always offended, and on the other it’s refreshing to see people commit to learning about things they may not have previously and growing in ways they didn’t think possible. Mr. Iglesias is a great example of this, because it displays two people of the same culture having contrasting opinions on a cultural topic and working to understand each other. We’ve seen different cultures be confused by each other and try to learn, but when the characters are of the same culture it’s almost expected that they share opinions on things. Working outside of this expectation is part of what makes Mr. Iglesias so excellent.
Mr. Iglesias is a diverse show in race, age, socio-economics and more, so a wide range of audience members will be able to find a character to relate to. That being said, the character you relate to most may not be the one that you think. Just because someone looks like you or is similar in age to you doesn’t mean you’ll agree, and vice versa. Gabriel Iglesias expanded upon his feelings on the Latinx term, citing a generational gap.
For those unfamiliar (and I do not belong to the community so I’m no expert), here’s a rundown of the word in question. The rule of thumb has been that for words with masculine and feminine forms (such as Latino and Latina), the masculine is used when referring to a group of males, or both males and females (Latinos) and the feminine is used when referring to groups of females (Latinas). Some groups viewed this as problematic, so Latinx has been more recently used as a gender neutral term referring to people of Latin American descent. Check out this video for a fun yet informative explanation of this and other terms.
As Gabriel Iglesias said, change can be hard to embrace and lots of us are set in our ways. He’s learning a lot by working with a group of talented writers and young actors, just like his viewers are learning a lot from watching his show. At the end of the day, being flexible and open to change is all we can ask, and Iglesias is certainly showing us how to do that.
Parts 1, 2, and 3 of Mr. Iglesias are currently streaming on Netflix (opens in new tab), and I cannot recommend this show enough. Check back here at CinemaBlend for updates on Part 4. In the meantime, I also suggest watching these stand-up specials.
Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.
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