Mónica García from 'RHOSLC' did not play the Latin card. So why are they coming for her?

Mónica García was not here to make friends. Or at least that's the conclusion reached by her castmates from “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” in the shocking finale of the fourth season, which became the most viewed episode of the history of that franchise. And, to be fair, when it turns out that she secretly co-run a troll account that routinely attacked each of them for years, you can see why.

However, after accusations surfaced that Monica inflated her ethnicity, I had to draw the line.

For those not deeply entrenched in the world of Bravo and Housewives, Monica was a new addition to this season of “RHOSLC” and she came with an extra spicy backstory: She was the former assistant to infamous former castmate Jen Shah , who is currently serving a six and a half year prison sentence for a nationwide telemarketing scam. And in one of her first confessions, Monica revealed that she served as a witness against Jen in the case, providing evidence to the prosecution.

Her personal life was also plagued by chaos: Monica, a mother of four, cheated on her ex-husband with her sister's husband, carrying out a long-term affair that led to their divorce. On top of that, her mother, Linda, is an absolute narcissistic monster and brought explosive, often triggering moments of familial toxicity to the screen.

During his inauguration (and it will probably last(although I hope that's not the case), Monica added a refreshing perspective as someone who doesn't dress like the bad guys from “The Hunger Games” or back down from louder adversaries.

It all came to a head when her co-star Heather Gay revealed a shocking discovery on camera: Monica was behind the Reality Von Tease social media troll account she had been posting. rumors and evil and leaked information about all cast members for several years. In particular, Jen, who Monica admitted was the main target of the account. “The other women were just collateral damage,” she said in a confessional that still gives me chills.

While I enjoyed the cinematic masterpiece that was the finale and everything leading up to it in what was certainly a skip-free season, I had a moment of laughter when the topic of how Monica came to be on the show came up.

When asked about it, she explained, “I said, 'My name is Monica Fowler and your show sucks and your ratings suck, and they're going to cancel it because you don't have the right cast.'”

But, as the producer's cut showed, what he really sent to casting was this: “You guys need a feisty, excommunicated Latina on the show immediately!! I'm your girl! —Monica F.”

Here's the thing: I love it.

“Real Housewives,” as an institution, and Bravo as a whole have clashed years long accusations of racism, from having majority white casts to exploiting and undervaluing the black stars of their shows. By then, after making an effort to diversify the casts, leaving the POC cast members vulnerable to racism from his co-stars that apparently went unpunished.

At first, “RHOSLC” was the series' most diverse franchise, with Monica, of Portuguese and Colombian descent, being the first Latina on the show. She joins a small but powerful group of Latina housewives that include Alexia Nepola, Marysol Patton, Nicole Martin and Adriana de Moura from the Miami franchise and Sai de Silva from “Real Housewives of New York.”

This email would come into play again in the second part of the meeting, when the question of Monica's name, or rather names, arose. As seen on the show, Monica emailed casting directors with the last name “Fowler,” but she appears on the show as “Garcia.” During one of her regular fights, Monica's mother referred to her as “Monica Darnell” and then accused her of changing her name “every five minutes.”

Somewhere in there the last name “Delgado” appeared.

As Monica explains it, has used three names. The name she was born with (Darnell), her married name (Fowler) and her current name (Garcia) which she chose after her divorce because she wanted a last name and it was her mother's last name. of her at birth. Her mother had changed it because she was made fun of for being Portuguese when she was growing up in Boston, which sounds very Boston.

This became a sticking point because monica accuses her co-star and constant adversary Lisa Barlow to say that Monica changed her last name to “look more Latina to appear on the show.”

First, people sometimes have many last names, especially if they come from cultures where both parents' last names are taken. Chill out.

Second, it's not like she's Natalie Wood tanning to pass herself off as Puerto Rican. If that's the case, let's look at the Income! Proof! Chronology! Screenshots!

Third, if Monica mentioned her ethnicity to help her appear on the show, well, who cares!

As America fights racism and rolls back diversity and inclusion initiatives to coddle white supremacists, this sickened me. If her castmates think Monica doesn't deserve to hold a snowflake because she's an Internet troll who infiltrated the cast, she's fine. But let's leave aside her ethnicity. It seems that's why she initially lied about her casting email: to avoid further accusations of playing the Latin card.

Each of these women wanted to be on this show, had to present themselves as telegenic as possible, and, in the case of the Salt Lake City franchise, leaned on their experience in the Mormon church to make themselves a more compelling hire. Her religion or her excommunication from her is part of her history, her history and her identity. It's not a “card”, it's who they are.

So why would it be a problem for a potential employee to mention their ethnicity? Especially if the show would benefit from showcasing the diversity of the region and local religion through its hiring. The entire season, and the series as a whole, has largely featured his disagreements and issues with the culture around Mormonism and the church.

It's one of the themes that has made this franchise a fascinating and often educational watch.

Even if Monica leaned into the hot Latina trope to get hired, the fact is that every housewife has to be passionate. A pinch of it is usually enough, but a barrel will seal the deal. Being loud and willing to throw wine in someone's face at a baby shower is in the job description. It's not something you can lie about to get hired, like a college degree or proficiency in Excel. You have to live, breathe and be a mess to be on the show and also to survive.

I'm hoping that as the reunion episodes continue and the series moves forward with or without Monica, we can stop worrying about ethnic recruitment and focus on what we're really here for: the mess.

Alex Zaragoza is a television scriptwriter and journalist who covers culture and identity. His work has appeared in Vice, NPR, O Magazine and Rolling Stone. He has written in the series “Primo” and “López v. Lopez.” He writes weekly for De Los.

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