In our effort to get more information about Encanto Productions, Ann Lopez (former wife of comedian George Lopez), and Lynette Ramirez as a request made by our readers to try and balance our social media coverage of the Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez Dirty Girls Social Club controversy, we did some web research that showed their impressive Hollywood resumes and experience. There is no question: Ann Lopez, Ramirez, and writer Luisa Leschin are all very talented Latina women who have made inroads into Hollywood and have advanced the cause of Latinos in entertainment.
Their credits list some very successful shows, like The George Lopez Show and Everybody Hates Chris. They are very well-respected in Hollywood circles, according to the reports we have read. They have their supporters, who have come to visit this blog to inform me of these women’s accomplishments. Even though we have tried to contact them via email and Facebook for comment, they have not responded. (And we didn’t expect that they would.) We respect that and understand why they wouldn’t want to comment.
In doing research for the blogs, we did come across several articles that ran over a year ago about how Ann Lopez and Ramirez will be one of several producers developing the film version of Speedy Gonzales, the famed cartoon character from the 1950s, who for some represents old and trite stereotypes of Mexican characters. According to reports from last February, the movie, which will star George Lopez as the voice of Speedy, will be developed by New Line/Warner Bros and have a host of producers, including George Lopez, Ann Lopez, Ramirez, Ocean’s Eleven producer Jerry Weintraub, Tracy Ryerson, and Jill Arthur. (FYI: We scoured the Internet and other news sources to see if any new updates have been reported about the movie’s progress, but we have not found anything. Also, there was no mention of what the current production arrangement is as a result of the divorce between Ann Lopez and George Lopez.)
According to reports from last February, Ann Lopez said that having George Lopez play the lead role will give the movie “Latino seal of approval.” In addition, Ann Lopez said the following when addressing the issue that “fastest mouse of all of Mexico” could be offensive to some:
We wanted to make sure that it was not the Speedy of the 1950s – the racist Speedy. Speedy’s going to be a misunderstood boy who comes from a family that works in a very meticulous setting, and he’s a little too fast for what they do. He makes a mess of that. So he has to go out in the world to find what he’s good at.
Supposedly, the Speedy character will befriend a gun-shy race-car driver in the movie version.
As for this blog, we really hope that the “Latino seal of approval” is achieved with this movie. Growing up in the 70s, I watched Looney Tunes classic cartoons like every other kid in America, and to be honest with you, I really disliked the character of Speedy Gonzales. His accent annoyed me and the sombrero was silly. I was more of a Bugs Bunny guy myself.
No matter what revisions are made, this movie is going to be a tough sell for me. Whenever I see the character of Speedy Gonzales, I cringe. There’s just something about these stereotypes that just were never funny, even as a kid. So here’s hoping that the producers get this movie right and understand that a lot of Latino kids who grew up with this cartoon had issues with it.
Speedy Gonzales as a stereotypical character is not new news. This blog, written by Dr. Al Carlos Hernandez in 2002, describes the issue when the League of United Latin American Citizens and Hispanic Online petitioned the Cartoon Network to bring back the Speedy Gonzales cartoons. Here is a link to the article: LULAC Goes Looney Tunes.