Truth be told, I hadn’t heard of the Fusion Network, ABC News and Univision’s new network aimed at English-speaking Latinos, until receiving an email to appear on the show as a guest. Unfortunately I had to decline because of a schedule conflict, but I never thought once about the demographics of its cast of anchors.  As a woman from a mixed background, there are some things that I look at with a fine tooth comb and others that have been beaten with a stick so much I’m pretty much novacaine to it.  But there has been a few comments about Fusion’s lack of Afro-Latinos on the network, even though it hasn’t officially launched.

In a recent piece for The Root, Richard Prince wonders if Fusion has dropped the ball when it comes to excluding darker skinned Latinos on air:

Asked whether Afro-Latinos will be on the network, a joint venture of ABC News and Univision, spokesman David Ford told Journal-isms by email, “He’s not an Afro-Latino, but Derrick Ashong will be anchoring a nightly program on Fusion called ‘DNA.’ Born in Ghana and educated at Harvard, Derrick was raised in Brooklyn, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and New Jersey. Derrick previously anchored ‘The Derrick Ashong Experience’ on SIRIUS XM’s Oprah Radio and the Emmy-nominated ‘The Stream’ on Al Jazeera English.”

Ashong is not Hispanic.

Arlene Davila, a professor of anthropology, social and cultural analysis at New York University and an expert on Latino identity and marketing to Latinos, saw the Oct. 9 news release about Fusion’s morning show and wrote on Facebook Monday:

“Remember ABC/Univision ‘Fusion”s promise to represent ‘Latino millennials’?? well get ready for more of the same: super white anchors, no Mexican Americans or Puerto Ricans or US Latinos but same old cast you’d find in any Latin American exportable show — except they speak English! Whoever is heading this thing needs to hit our barrios and get a reality check!! ”

One of her Facebook friends replied, “Well, but what can we expect from Blancovision?” and “The other phrase that we used was Uniblanco.”

Davila told Journal-isms by telephone, “the racial blinders are still in place.”

Although Fusion is still a new network maybe after it’s launch date and actually airing of shows things will look a little different. 

Fusion launches on October 28th, at 7pm. For more information on Fusion, visit http://abcnews.go.com/abc_univision/.


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  • DownSouth Transplant

    I was not even aware of the new station however my weekly multilingual sessions has been chatting about it for the last 6-8weeks and I still could not get their sources I assumed being that I am not a fluent Spanish speaker rather conversational, was the reason, when I brought it up as a nice alternative to telemundo, I swear someone bust a gut laughing at me and dismissively told me it is a channel meant for “your kind” (as in non-native speaker, & not culturally astute with all the regional Spanish differences).
    Their judgments have been created by buzz the channel has been creating in Puerto Rico and México, even El- Salvadorians had heard about the new “almost” Spanish station. I looked it up and All that came to mind was a very specific quote “I do not say that the only person who can write of England must be an Englishman or that only the Japanese should write about Japan, but I would insist if a person is writing of a group of people to which he is socially and culturally alien, he must have some extraordinary gifts of Insight.” W.E.B DuBois

  • ruggie

    I’m a Derrick Ashong fan, so I’ll tune in to see what’s up. But if the station is rife with colorism I won’t support it. Latino programming in English has promise. I would LOVE to see telenovas with English subtitles/voiceovers. They look like the have so much juicy drama!

  • Kim

    Ok…this might be controversial, but I don’t give a rats a** about this news story. Black Latinos don’t consider themselves black or if they do, they’re quick to let you know they don’t see color, and the non-black ones dont care, so ummmm, why should I as a black non-Latino care? They care more about dating black men than they do about identifying as such. Let Black Latinos rise up and demand to be included. Until black Dominicans start speaking up about what’s happening to Black Dominicans of Haitian descent and other causes that affect blacks, I don’t give two f*cks about Univision, Telemundo, or Fusion or any other such Network–in English or Spanish…. B*tch, Bye!

  • Mr. Man

    Nothing correct and fair can come out of a broken system, ever.