CBS’ “The Good Wife” shatters stereotypes, sheds light on a DREAM
By: Michael J. Scurato
CBS has often stood out in the dreary landscape of network television when it comes to supporting Latino talent, both in front of and behind the camera. In fact, CBS ranked first among major networks in NHMC’s 2010 Diversity Report Card. This past week, CBS has turned its spotlight on an important issue, the DREAM Act, on it’s popular Tuesday night series, “The Good Wife.”
On last week’s episode, “Silver Bullet,” 2007 NHMC Impact Award honoree America Ferrera, plays an undocumented immigrant who works as a nanny for a prominent politician. While that is a typical role for a Latina actress, the writers of the show refused to become hung up on stereotypes and negative portrayals. In fact, America’s character was written as an incredibly smart, savvy young woman who works as a nanny to finance her pursuit of a graduate degree while working with an attorney on becoming a citizen. Her character admits that she was not born in the United States, but came to this country with her parents when she was 2 years old.
America’s character on “The Good Wife” captures the struggles of a generation of young, Latino men and women in our country who face obstacles because their parents brought them into this country as infants, in search of a better life. These men and women, who work so hard to better themselves and become productive members of the only society that they have ever known, are precisely the type of people that would have their lives changed by the passage of the DREAM Act. Although the Act came up short last year, we can only hope that, one day, we will have a law on the books that allows these passionate young people to focus their immense talents on something besides trying again and again to get Congress to do what is right.
We applaud CBS and the creators, writers, and producers of “The Good Wife” for shedding light on such an important issue while avoiding harmful stereotypes that play much too large a role in the modern media. We urge CBS to continue this storyline, as well as others that would help to bring acceptance and understanding to those who are all too often forgotten or demonized. If CBS continues to explore such important issues with incredible Latino talent, like America Ferrera, they will do a great service for our country while bringing in a new and plentiful audience.