MTV gurus do it again folks. Their attempt to recreate reality fails miserably. The latest victim is the uptown New York City neighborhood of Washington Heights, which is noted for its heavy Dominican population. This week, MTV premiered their latest reality series, cleverly called “Washington Heights”, following 6 young lives that are just trying to make something of themselves.
Overall, it’s a noble cause except the producers had to go and fuck up everything about it. The Latino community that reside or are familiar with the Heights took to social media during the premier to discuss the angst regarding the show. Many complained that it wasn’t real nor Latino enough – portraying a vibe that would be similar for a more hipsterish neighborhood like Soho.
Yet, the problem goes far beyond that. If MTV is going to produce a show on a neighborhood notoriously known for its Dominican community, don’t water down the culture for the sake of appealing to a wider audience. Where’s the bachata? The street vendors? Local landmarks like Mi Paiz supermarket? 809? Cachapas? For many across the nation, this may just be another “reality” segment but to many unvoiced New York City residents, this is home.
Washington Heights, like many of the other neighborhoods of New York City, is its own world with its own rules. Unfortunately, the true struggles and local success stories of the tough neighborhood are realer than MTV will dare to show. Violence plagues the cement paved streets while the nightlife is becoming the new scene attracting the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce and Vin Diesel.
Although the stories of the cast are heartwarming & inspiring, one needs to realize that it’s a dream shared by many. Everyone wakes up and does their shit to be as elite as they can be, whether its chasing an MLB dream or selling avocados in front of the 1 train.
Misaell Cabral | Elite.