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Friday, June 9, 2023

Opinion: Ricky Martin’s long career is a lesson in survival

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Martin’s performance on normalized sex, complete with a hip shake pioneered by Elvis Presley 40 years ago, he originated with Menudo, the teen pop group he starred in in their 1980s international success story. Like Menudo, he popularized music that had little “Latin” elements beyond its danceability and the fact that it was often sung in Spanish by a Latin American singer. And like Menudo, his star hides something below the surface.
“Ricky, from the start, he was the golden kid,” former Menudo member Ray Acevedo said in episode two of “Menudo: Forever Young,“recently premiered on HBOMax (which shares a parent company with CNN and in which I made a brief appearance as a journalist/commentator). Martin, 12 years old when he joined Menudo, appeared when The group started to change lineups, ostensibly because as they got older, their voices changed, making it impossible for them to hit the high notes required by the songs in their repertoire. The data implies that these changes were part of the way the group’s manager, Edgardo Díaz, controlled exploitation of the group by making everyone replaceable.
Recent allegations of harassment against Martin, are leveled by his 21-year-old grandson and withdraw on Thursday feels strange and unfortunate with the debut of “Menudo: Forever Young,” a stunning, hard-to-watch cautionary tale that seems stuck in time but still resonates to this day. . Using interviews from former members of Menudo – though notably not including Martin himself – and others tied to the band’s history, the series celebrates its successes in when it comes to a series of bad scandals that are in some ways reminiscent of recent events about R. Kelly and Jeffrey Epstein. The use of archived video that was damaged, blurred, and distorted as if played through a cheap VCR, effectively underscored the problems of these stories.

Martin and Menudo’s breakthroughs have a lot to do with invisibility and misunderstanding of Latinx cultures in America and Latin America. They are presented as fresh, innocent young faces to fight the gangster stereotypes of urban poor Latinos. live on the margins of society. While it’s true that Menudo’s incredible success paved the way for the boy band model used by *NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, and the giants that dominate K-Pop today, BTS, in part is thanks to an entertaining media that largely ignores the international spotlight on classic salsa and pop of the 1970s and 1980s.

Menudo’s manager, Díaz, soon revealed himself as a nefarious and ruthless leader, effectively profiting from a marketing concept designed to capture the “international youth culture”. ” and its coveted teen and teen market. Based on documentary series, his control over the band increased as he awarded contracts to new members. This allowed him to keep members younger and more vulnerable to his exploitative methods, and in some cases, alleged sexual desire in the documentary.
As the series notes, Díaz did not respond to requests for interviews or comment on the allegations in the documentary. After former Menudo member Roy Rosselló accused Díaz of sexual abuse in 2014, Díaz released a statement which says: “I’m not going to spend the rest of my life defending myself and responding to accusations. You only have one life, and I live in peace.”
The third episode, called “The Allegations”, is the most notable episode of the series, as it documents how accusations from former members of Menudo began to surface, as well as the crackdown on the allegations. there. When members like Ralphy Rodríguez agreed to appear on Puerto Rican journalist Carmen Jovet’s talk show, the Puerto Rican police came to shut it down. The documentary shows this is possible because Díaz has ties to the powerful Puerto Rican elite. The final performance took place, a few days later, without Díaz, who turned down Jovet’s invitation. Soon after, Díaz appeared on Cristina Saralegui’s The show is based in Miami on Univision, allowing him to deny any wrongdoing and present his new version of Menudo to suggest former members are motivated by money.

Martin’s career helped weather this scandal much more effectively than Díaz’s new version of Menudo. He from Broadway became part of the Latin authorities denouncing Díaz, although HBOMax specifically mentions only that he talked about harsh working conditions, not sexual abuse.

Via appeared as gay in 2010Martin helped one Puerto Rican Catholics deeply accept and accept LGBTQ people. He dealt a blow to entrenched machismo by normalizing his marriage to Swedish-Syrian painter Jwan Yosef, having children and continuing to record successful albums. While homophobia and homophobia still exist in Puerto Rico, it’s hard to imagine the success of megastar rapper reggaetón Bad Rabbit – made his film debut with Brad Pitt in “Bullet Train”, officially in theaters August 5 – who often appears in gender-distinct, anti-machine precedent set by Ricky Martin .

However, as “Menudo: Forever Young” reminds us, healing is a process shared by the individual victim and society at large. Machismo still plagues Latinx communities, and the foundations of its domination and exploitation must be banished to truly complete the process. Menudo’s cutting-edge boy band formula not only spawned a new musical genre but also helped put Puerto Ricans, and young Latinos, on the entertainment media map. Despite the bleak thriller its manager has created, a montage at the end of the film depicting former members of Menudo going strong, now proves that it’s not only possible to survive. at the time of sexual abuse, which can be positive and life-affirming.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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