More L Word Casting News
From AfterEllen's 'Best Lesbian Week Ever' by Sarah Warn, with whom I couldn't agree more:
THE L WORD: WHERE THE LATINAS ARE HOT AND THE ASIANS ARE CRAZY. OR LATINA.
Moonlighting fans rejoice: in a brilliant casting move, Showtime announced this week that Cybill Shepherd is joining The L Word next season for 11 episodes. She'll play a married mother and president of the college Bette's now attending, who begins to question her sexuality.
In more L Word casting news: Janina Gavankar (pictured) has been cast to play a new character named Papi, who according to Showtime's press release, is "a smokin' hot Latino who challenges Shane. Unlike Shane, Papi is competitive, gregarious, loud, bossy and boastful. She canoodles with everyone and competes with Shane."
I love how the Latinas on this show are always "smokin' hot" sex-kitten types. Since Carmen's storyline consisted of a parade of Latino stereotypes, the FTM trans character turned into the worst stereotype of a testosterone-driven man, and the only Asian woman on the show so far has been Marcus-the-sperm-donor's hysterical/crazy Asian girlfriend in season one, I supposed I shouldn't really be surprised. But is the cringe-worthy "Papi" (Spanish slang for "daddy") really the best name we could come up with? Why not just name her "Sexy Latina #2" and forego any attempt at subtly altogether?
I'm sure Gavankar (Barbershop, Barbershop 2) will be a fine addition to the show, but as you may have guessed by her last name, she is not, in fact, Latina--she's Indian American (and one-quarter Dutch). Which begs the question: why not cast an actual Latina actress, or make the character Indian? A South Asian lesbian character would be great, considering how few Asian lesbian characters there are on film or TV. You could even name her "Kama Sutra" to keep the ethnic-stereotypes theme going. Just a thought.
Sarah Shahi, who played Carmen, was part Latina, part South Asian too, but it was imperative that she be kept to one stereotyped ethnicity at a time.