After we published the review, we heard from Latinx readers who believe the portrayal of Salma Hayek’s taco was racist and that it reinforced harmful stereotypes. We heard from readers who were upset that we labeled the taco a lesbian when it seems more likely that she was bisexual. We heard from readers who questioned the consent of the sexual encounter between the taco and the hot dog bun. We heard from readers who found the taco to be a damaging portrayal of a predatory queer woman.
There are several reasons I should have listened to the alarm bells of unease I felt about the Sausage Party review. First and most damning: we allowed a non-Latina writer to cover a story about a caricature of a Latina, and while the review didn’t specifically mention the film’s stereotyping, by praising the film as a positive portrayal of a queer Latina, we allowed a white writer to, in effect, condone that stereotyping. Second, when I was looking for reviews, I trusted the opinion of mainstream newspapers and websites and didn’t specifically seek out reviews written by women of color, generally; or Latina women, specifically. Furthermore, if the review had been written by a staff writer we would’ve talked it out with the writer in Slack if we had concerns and asked them more questions. Since the writer was a freelancer, we chose not to reach out to ask follow up questions over email; instead, we plowed forward for the sake of a time-sensitive article. Third, we did not consult with our full team to see if anyone had heard anything positive or negative about the film’s portrayal of a queer Latina character. And finally, we put the burden on Yvonne of being the conscience and voice for all queer Latina women.