"When you butcher an entire continent's culture": Disney Primos backlash explained as voice actor's statement intensifies outrage

Disney's Primos faces racist backlash (Image via Disney)

Recently, Disney’s upcoming show Primos has garnered immense backlash online. Netizens have attacked the show’s voice actor and creator for being racist and not doing enough research on Hispanic culture for the series. Since then, the show’s team has responded to the criticism online which has only added fuel to the fire. At the time of writing this article, Disney had pulled the promo for the series from their official social media pages however, the criticism rages on.

For those unversed, Primos is about 11-year-old Tater Ramirez Humphrey who is attempting to find herself when her 12 cousins move into her house for the summer. The series is inspired by the executive producer Natasha Kline’s own childhood experiences with her Mexican American family.

After a promo for the same was released online, internet users were quick to slam the show. Many claimed that it was an inauthentic representation of Hispanic culture as there were several grammatical errors, issues with pronunciation, stereotyping and racist language. One internet user noted that the name of one of the show’s characters is a slang word for “v*gina.”

Another Twitter user noted that the show’s promo had amassed more dislikes than likes on YouTube.

Primos creators respond to the backlash

As the show continued to garner backlash online, Primos’ voice actor Myrna Velasco took to her Instagram story to claim that Spanish is not a Latin American language. She went on to explain that the former was forced upon Latin American people and added:

“The only reason why we’re Latin American people and not Native people is because of that distinction.”

She went on to express that she does not care for the criticism she and the show are receiving online as she will continue to be a “Mexican American Native American woman.” Velasco also said:

“We’re trying to make a good show for kids. For kids that feel left out, for kids that are different, for kids who don’t have a full grasp on any language no matter where they live. And if you’re going to be mad at that I don’t know, be mad then.”

While the actor was getting harassed online for the wrong pronunciation of words, Velasco responded by saying:

“It’s bad enough that we’re already picked on and made to feel less than by the country we live in because of the customs and traditions we carry from our Latino roots… language is fluid and transitory depending on where you live and who you learned it from. I, the writers, nor the creators of this beautiful show do not have to prove our Latinidad to you or any other grammar nazi on the internet.”

Velasco has since turned her Instagram account private.


Primos' creator Natasha Kline also took to social media to seemingly claim that not much research went into creating the show but they mostly relied on their personal culture and traditions. While responding to a netizen criticizing the wrong pronunciations and spellings, Kline said:

“I just tried to stay true to what I know.”
Natasha Kline responds to Primos controversy (Image via osoamelie/Instagram)
Natasha Kline responds to Primos controversy (Image via osoamelie/Instagram)

She also took to her Instagram account to share a comical sketch that read:

“Wow. What a week… The.. uh.. conversation happening around Primos is something I could never have predicted.”

Netizens now await a response from Disney following the controversy.

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Edited by Karishma Rao
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