Alex Blaze

More straight-washing, this time on Chilean TV

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 22, 2007 10:44 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Argentina, Chile, Los Roldan, transgender

Andrés Duque has a post up about the Chilean interpretation of an Argentine soap and what's been "changed

Much like how American producers took the scripts for Britain's The Office and Colombia's Ugly Betty and adapted them for American audiences, Chile is adapting Los Roldán for its local audience. From El Clarín:

Upon leaving the Mega de Chile channel, the trans-Andean version of Los Roldán takes the name Fortunato. And, as one would assume, the characters follow the original exactly, save for one "detail": the protagonist's brother, Raúl o Laisa, a transvestite who here became Florencia de la Ve, there is a perfect heterosexual who only dresses as a woman to find work on television. In his private life, Raúl doesn't cross-dress. And the actor who plays him, Luciano Cruz Coke, far from a transvestite, has been gallant in several previous soap operas.

The modification, which has already elicited protests for discrimination by gay Chilean organizations, is what comes with "adaptation to local customs".

So basically, a transwoman character who was played by a transwoman is now just a boy who puts on a dress. Haha! He doesn't really want to dress like a woman, but he has to! Get it? A man in a dress! Isn't that original and funny?


I don't have any idea if Chile is more transphobic than Argentina is (the Clarín article points out that the same channel once had a soap called Machos that dealt with gays, in a slip between homosexuality and transgenderism that appeared throughout the article), but this sure makes it seem like they are. It could just be someone at the station who doesn't feel like this battle is theirs and decided to make the show a little less brave.

Roberto Gaete calls it "censorship". I'd call it "straight-washing" - it's not really banning an idea from being discussed, it's just providing another image to reify a clean, completely straight narrative, relegating everyone else to the trash heap.

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