Last month, Netflix announced its decision to end "One Day at a Time," a TV show about the lives of a Cuban-American family in Los Angeles as they face issues of mental illness, divorce, LGBTQ rights, and alcoholism.
The show was a modern-day take on Norman Lear's 1975 show of the same name. In this rendition, the family sitcom centered around complex Latino characters across generations and delved into sensitive topics from addiction to sexism. The cancellation of the program brought out some harsh outcry from fans of the show, including podcast host Maria Hinojosa and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, among others. Supporters of the show also took to Twitter and began the trending hashtag #RenewODAAT.
The series ended its third season with the announcement by Netflix that "simply not enough people watched to justify another season." This comes as other Latino-centered shows continue to receive screen time, including the CW’s “Jane the Virgin” and Netflix’s “On My Block.” Yet, Latino roles make up only 7.2% of digital scripted media despite constituting for roughly 18% of the U.S. population.
We look into the history of Latino representation in TV. What were the cultural choices in making "One Day at a Time"? How was it different than previous shows about Latino families in the U.S.? And what led to its cancellation? Weigh in and share your thoughts with us at 866-893-5722.
Isabel Molina, professor of Latina/Latino Studies and media & cinema studies at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign