Friday, October 28, 2005

Lucy & Desi -- I don't Get it

One thing I have been curious about--Lucille Ball in 1940 married Desi Arnaz, a Cuban--a hispanic. He played her husband Ricky on I Love Lucy. Now it seems to me that for a hispanic to marry a white chick back in the 1940s would have been a bit taboo. Yet I can't recall ever having heard that this is the case. I am not aware of any mention ever being made that when I Love Lucy came out, there was controversy about Lucy being married to a Cuban; that the show was "brave" and "heroic" and "pathbreaking" etc.

What gives? How come it was not likea big scandal?


consise10 said...

It certainly was 'risque' and Interesting that you have posed the question here too.

I love all those episodes and will always think of her to be the 'queen' of comedy. Thanks for your post :}

Daniel J. D'Amico said...

Stephan check out Wikipedia entry on I Love Lucy

Anonymous said...

He may be Cuban, but Desi is still a white guy. That is, unlike most people in Mexico, Guatemala, etc., he is not part Indian. So it's essentially like being married to a guy from Spain--which I would not expect to be all that controversial.

Gaurav Ahuja said...

Yes, Anonymous was correct. He is a White Cuban. Many Americans still for some reason, and it seems to be with you as well, that there are no Whites in in any of the Latin American world. Sometimes, they also think this of Spain and Portugal

J H Huebert said...

"Anonymous" here.

The people of Latin America certainly do not just consider themselves one big happy ethnic group. Indeed, some of the biggest racists (in the authentic sense) you'll find are in Latin America, because many who consider themselves of "pure" Spanish or other European descent look down upon the indigenous people and people of mixed ethnic background.

And this seems to go beyond prejudice against the indigenous. In Peru, for example, I was sitting in the home of a local family (surely of mixed background) on Christmas Eve, and one of the men, out of the blue, told me an extremely nasty anti-black joke. The content was shocking, of course, but also peculiar because there are very few black people in Peru. Seems akin to a Floridian telling anti-eskimo jokes.

Jeremy Sapienza said...

Uh, Desi was white, but either way, I think Cubans in the 1940s were probably seen as less foreign than they may seem to Duhmericans now. He was a "tall, dark, and handsome Latin lover"-type -- certainly a perfectly acceptable person for an American woman to marry.

Besides, "Hispanic" just means from a Spanish-speaking culture. It's not a racial category. Would the ame comment have been made if she married someone with a German last name from Uruguay?