Discrimination alive and well in 2011

I have never been so insulted in all my life! I CANNOT believe that in this day and age, Latinos are still being discriminated in such a blatant and obvious manner.

This week I was contacted by a staffmember of Emeril Lagasse’s show to ask if I wanted to be a guest on his new show, on a episode that was featuring tamales. I was thrilled naturally, and was even more excited when I was asked to invite four friends. I submitted names and contact information for all the guests. Shortly thereafter, I received a strange phone call, which asked me if the guests had “accents”…when I asked what exactly “accents” meant, I was told that the guests needed to be clearly understood. I assured the staff member that all my guests were fluent in English (one of them is my EDITOR for God’s sake!!).

Today I get another phone call from the Emeril team to tell me that while they “liked” one particular guest (it’s funny that she had THE most ethnic name), my other 2 guests sounded too ethnic. Excuse me, but when did this become a mono-ethnic society. My guests are not only fluent, they hold jobs where the English language is a career necessity, and as such they are clearly well versed (like I said, FLUENT!!).

I assured the said staff member that I was completely insulted; I thought it hypocritical that an episode which is featuring Latin American cuisine (tamales) deems it necessary to serve and instruct people who only sound WHITE!!

I have always had nothing but repect and admiration for Emeril, who I consider a collegue and a peer…until today! Wild horses couldn’t drag me there and I am going to make sure that everyone I know learns about this disgusting display of discrimination.

59 Responses to “Discrimination alive and well in 2011”

  1. 1 Oscar Rodriguez June 10, 2011 at 11:18 am

    hell to the NO!

  2. 2 Oscar Rodriguez June 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

    that is sooo wrong. It is a show about tamales for crying out loud. I hope Emeril fires that team right NOW!

  3. 3 Miguelina Roman-Acosta June 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    “just because someone is an editor” clears him or her of an accent. Please correct Ms. Daisy Martinez. I have been aware of this pattern very much and not just by non-hispanics.! surprise?

    • 4 George Torres June 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm

      This is extremely unfortunate… for us to continue to be marginalized by such a mediocre mindset. I am your fan so BAM… Emeril is outta here!

    • 5 Miguelina Roman-Acosta June 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      We will continue to face this type of descrimination until we have a TRUE television station. Did Daisy offered to have her guests interviewed in order to Mr. Emeril Lagasse could hear them speak and decided if they speaking clearly. An accent does not denote “not being understood”

  4. 6 BellaVidaLetty June 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Hi Daisy, I’m very glad that you made it clear that you were insulted along with your guests. Only by standing up against ignorance like this can we bring about change.

  5. 7 ezzylanguzzi June 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Un-freaking believable.

  6. 8 Chantilly Patiño June 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Wow! Daisy, way to go telling them like it is! This is terrible! I’m just shocked that they would treat you and your guests this way! I’m really starting to get tired of this word “ethnic”. The way I’ve been hearing it used is appalling! I’m glad you’re speaking out about this because what helps it to continue is them thinking that they can get away with it. This is not acceptable! BTW, I’ve always loved your show and I love you twice as much now! Way to take a stand amiga!

  7. 9 Rachel June 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Wow Daisy… This is despicable. I am appalled and disgusted by their actions. How dare they? This is not acceptable. Thanks you for opening up our eyes.

  8. 10 Unknown Mami June 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Gee, I wonder if they would have issues with someone that has a British or Australian accent. This really makes me mad. I felt my face go hot when I read it. I’m so sorry this happened, but I am really glad you are letting us know. Unacceptable behavior.

    • 11 Diane Librizzi June 13, 2011 at 11:34 am

      I was thinking the same thing! Why can people like Nigella Larson have TV shows? She has an accent.

      But more importantly, word needs to be spread about this incident in both Hispanic and non-Hispanic communities. The former need to know how they are being perceived by a so called “leader” in the food TV arena, and the latter need to be aware that we will not succumb to the archaic and blatant bigotry that prevails even today.

  9. 12 Robyn Engel June 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I’m here thanks to UnknownMami, and this is my first visit. But you clearly have fans, and for good reason. The fact that they felt free to express these things to you – with no thought that it might tarnish Emiril’s image – is almost as stupid and ignorant and their discriminatory actions. Hello, the word is all. Emirils’ got boycotter’s already.
    Thanks Daisy.

  10. 13 Robyn Engel June 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    PS Sorry – typos above. I meant “ignorant AS their..” and “the word is OUT.” :0)

  11. 14 Naturalmente Mamá June 10, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I wonder if they would deny Jackie Chan then.. He has an accent too!

  12. 15 Amy Tarshis June 11, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I’ve forwarded this info onto an Editor of one of NY’s major newspaper’s but Daisy, for the the third time I beg of you to include resaurahts within Puerto Rico that you could reccomrnemd to others…”Puerta del Mar” in Piñones comes to mind as does JAM in Condado and “Marisqueria Atlantica” in Punta Las Marias…

  13. 16 Grace Hwang Lynch June 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Daisy,
    I’d like to talk to you about this for BlogHer. Can you email me: grace(dot)hwanglynch(at)blogher(dot)com ?

  14. 17 Jennifer Rodriguez June 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Ugh,ugh,ugh.. My heart literally aches.. My girls deserve a world better that this..we all do..

  15. 18 Lynn Corona June 12, 2011 at 12:00 am

    I am a Caucasian married to a dear Hispanic man. I was raised as white as white could be. You wanna know that to me Emeril has an accent? In that accent, I hear my parents voices telling me that that person is uneducated.

  16. 19 Cynthia Martinez June 12, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Daisy- this is beyond disgusting and unfortunately all too common. Every Latin@ out there, I’m sure has a story along these lines…from people being surprised that a Latin@ can be well spoken without an “accent ” to people pretending they can’t understand what that “brown person” is saying. Thank you so much for bringing light to this issue and not sitting on it quietly.

    • 20 mari June 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Hello Cynthia,
      I am not sure about your usage of the term “brown person”? If you are meaning people of latin origin, then you should know they come in all colors; white, black, yellow, brown, etc. Being latin does not put you into a specific race or ethnicity. I agree with you in that ignorance is all to common!

  17. 21 QuinnCreative June 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

    Emeril himself is from Boston, and I often have trouble understanding his “accent.” Shame on him. Shame on his staff. Shame on everyone who divides the world into “them” and “us.”

  18. 22 Donnialda June 12, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Along with Amy’s idea to forward to a NY paper editor, I also sent the following Tweet. Know your Chocoloate Sisters are supporting you.

    Hispanic discrimination at Emeril Show?http://bit.ly/jrY9j5 @TheRealXtina @AllAboutRace.@andersoncooper @CornelWest @JoyVBehar @katiecouric

  19. 23 Leylha Ahuile June 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Emeril’s mother is Portuguese and might have had an accent…I guess his staffers wouldn’t of had her on the show either!

  20. 24 Irma Best June 12, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I agree with you 100%, I feel that every day. Thank God no everybody on tv is like that…It depends of the cultural education, people with accent are percived to be ignorant or stupid, but we speak 2 languages!

    I like people like Martha Stewart that embrace any culture and it looks like she does not care about accents: http://www.marthastewart.com/318656/pupusas-de-queso

  21. 25 Merry Jo Zygel June 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I’m not Hispanic and I’m offended. I live in Tucson. A third of the city has accents – and 3/4 of those accents are perfectly comprehensible to my Anglo ear.

    I hope
    1) you are forwarding these responses to Emeril’s show, and
    2) he did NOT know about this kind of behavior, and
    3) re-education commences, and
    4) you get an apology – delivered in EMERIL’S ACCENT!!!


  22. 26 Kelly Mullaney June 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    My face went all red when I read this. I guess it pests me off more because I know what a compassionate and beautiful person you are, from your visits and support to the Latinas Unidas programs here in Rochester. You are such an inspiration.

    I remember the first time I went to New Orleans, the very first thing I wanted to do was to go to Emeril’s restaurant and I dragged my husband there. Well, not anymore. Now every time I see his ‘products’ in the store it will remind me of this.
    Shame on the Emeril Lagasse show!

  23. 27 C. Cruz June 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Kudos to YOU Chef Martinez! I have been a fan forever! I hope Emeril & others recognize your talents & take notice! Besides, Latinos have given the world sooo much! Peru gave potatoes, Mexico gave chocolate, tomatoes, peppers, etc. We are SABOR (Flavor)!!!

  24. 28 Peggy June 12, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you for standing up! Geez, has he watched Iron Chef? Chef marimotoi doesn’t even speak english!

  25. 29 Cecilia Castaneda June 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I am a Caucasian married to a Latino man. We live Arizona there is a lot of discrimination here. You have every reason to be upset and offended . I just wonder if Emeril has any idea how his staff takes care of business. I have found that many times the boss is not aware how the staff is conducts his business. I would hope you would be able to talk to Emeril ??. Remember is Mother is Portuguese he might happy to know this took place. I sure he would be upset if his mother was treated in this manner. We enjoy you cooking show and your books and wish the best of luck to you.

  26. 30 Sue-Helen De La Rosa June 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Wow!! I used to be a follower of Emeril & his show, but after reading this….thumbs down!! How dare that staff member! Unbelievable.

  27. 31 Lexi June 13, 2011 at 1:11 am

    You deserve an apology. Your guests deserve an apology. Latinas… we all deserve an apology.

  28. 32 NolaGirl June 13, 2011 at 1:41 am

    There are still people on the planet, so discrimination being alive and well in 2011 really shouldn’t surprise you. Oldest profession…

    Oldest pastime – hating other people.

    While I, too, hope that Mr. Lagasse was not aware of the staff member’s actions, you should know that Emeril Lagasse, as he exists today, is a PR concoction. In the words of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Seinfeld character Elaine Benes, “Fake, fake, fake, fake.”

    What’d you expect from a pseudo-New Orleanian who changed the pronunciation of his own name? And, accents — that affected “New Orleans drawl” he does is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know any native who sounds like that! And, I’ve lived in New Orleans for half a century.

    Loved your show and your recipes. Hispanic influences are an integral facet of Louisiana’s rich history. The “French” Quarter was built during Spanish rule, and this is reflected in its architecture. FYI: Isleños culture would be something interesting to checkout.

    Do a show with John Besh to see how it’s really done and to get the respect you deserve.

  29. 33 Erik June 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Emeril himself has a thick Cajun accent!

  30. 34 clemente flores June 13, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I think the show should be boycott. I watched Emeril’s show but I not going to watch it anymore. I think the inquiries they made are very insulting.

    • 35 clemente flores June 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      I forgot to mentioned Daisy, one of the music track you play on your show “Con Mi Guaguanco” is by my brother Ray Amando. Thank you for selecting that tune for your cooking show.

  31. 36 Poco! June 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    What does “White” sound like? Good diction? I think enunciation is very importanat in life…

  32. 37 Xiomara A. Sosa June 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Daisy, I feel offended and disgusted by what they did. There is no need to explain why, it is simply wrong. No excuse or explanation can possibly justify that ignorant display and poor judgement. Whatever we can do to support you and helkp you on this issue, we will.

  33. 38 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) June 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I think Emeril has a pretty wicked accent. I live in the part of New England where Emeril is from, so I can understand him. I’d like to think Emeril himself did not have anything to do with this action on the part of his staff, but he certainly can change the climate if he’s as outraged as we are.

  34. 39 Patty June 14, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I cannot believe this. I’m in shock about how they judge a person simply by their last name. It’s discusting! I was never a fan of him or his show and this certainly doesn’t endear them any more to me.

  35. 40 Muhranda June 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Please give us an update on this “episode” thank you gracias

  36. 41 Maritza June 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    I posted this on my Facebook page. This is very disappointing. Thank you for sharing this with us Daisy. It’s important to know this and to know where to put our time, thoughts, and money.

  37. 42 headsquare June 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm


  38. 43 Nilsa Rivera June 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Well I guess the only right thing to do is .not watch his show anymore and see how his ratings go down. Then he will understand the power behind the latinos.

  39. 44 Steve June 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Maybe I’m a racist for this, but I’ll trust a tamale recipe from someone with an accent faster than from someone without and accent. 😉

  40. 45 mari June 15, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    I would like to start out by saying, that what the staff said was wrong and discriminatory. However, I do not think by what I have read that it was against “Latinos”; as previously mentioned Emeril is Portuguese and that is Latin. Now maybe it was against spanish speaking latins, but then why have Daisy on the show. It just doesnt make any sense! I would think it was not a prejudice against hispanics but an ignorance on how a person with a “so-called” ethnic name could speak the English language with out an accent. Either way what ever was behind the motives of the staff, it was wrong. Hopefully an apology will be given to Daisy and her proposed quests. One question to Daisy: What does it mean to sound WHITE? ( I am alittle confused with that statement).

  41. 46 mrs4444 June 16, 2011 at 12:06 am

    That is just dumb. Besides, guests are there to EAT, not TALK, right? 🙂 jk I’m glad you shared this, and I applaud your decision not to go. Thanks.

  42. 47 Maria June 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Mari…please! You can call a dog a cat but that doesn’t make it so.
    And please spare us the “he is Portuguese so he is Latin” talk…¡He is no Latino como nosotros!

    In case you didn’t “get it” the insulting part came when they were re-assured (not once but twice) that the people in the invite list were fluent.

    I do hope to God you are not Latin, because we certainly don’t need Latinos with your mindset. Like the saying goes: with friends like this, who needs enemies?

    • 48 Slippery Mermaid June 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      I am sorry maria…where you there? Because where I come from there are three sides to every story and this is only one!

    • 50 mari June 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      Maria you sound very ignorant!
      First off I said the staff was wrong for what they said!!!! So I am not sure exactly what I said that got you pissed off, but if its because I dont believe it was a prejudice act against latinos than that is my right as an American to have my own opinion!!! What do you mean latinos like me?? Can you elaborate on this! AND What makes you more latin than someone who is Portuguese?? Latins of all kind certainly dont need people like YOU!! because all you are doing is making them/us looking bad! You sound very prejudice and small minded to think only spanish speaking people are considered latino. You should really open up your eyes and look around and see that latinos come in many different forms!!

      • 51 Flor June 16, 2011 at 9:41 pm

        You sound like a total IDIOT.
        The insult was against Spanish people….so even someone of your low intellectual level should be able to tunderstand that..

        If you run you should be able to catch up with your friend Slippery maid.. I hope you are both very happy in your trailer where ever that is.

      • 52 mari June 17, 2011 at 8:43 am

        I would like to elaborate on the above statement that I made yesterday. I was not completely right in what i wrote, so i would like to clarify it . It seems in the U.S. “Latinos” ARE only considered those from spanish speaking countries. BUt once outside of the U.S., such as Europe ” Latino” is considered those from a Latin language based country (portugal). However, still in the U.S. the term “Latin” is not the same as “Latino” . Those that are Latin in the U.S. and outside of it are considered those from a Latin language based countriies. I apologize for any confusion it may have caused.

  43. 53 Slippery Mermaid June 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    “Everyone says they hate the us/ them mentality but then every post says “we latinos this” us latinos that”….you cant have it both ways.

    I think it is show Dasiy’s charater that she did pick up the phone and call Emeril to straighten this out ….since he probably had not clue it occured….instead decided to post a story that really doesnt tell the whole story. I think it is called being a fame whore. I for one wont support someone that doesnt give the beenfit of doubt and twists a story to suit monetary gain”


    • 54 Maria June 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      I am not sure I understand what you mean…perhaps some editing would be benefitial.

    • 55 Daisy Martinez January 20, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      I can tell you (whatever your name is) tha I wrote this down IMMEDIATELY after it happened, so I could document as correctly as possible. Why didn’t I call Emeril? BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE HIS NUMBER!! Do you think we are all listed in the CHEF DIRECTORY?? I did, however, send him a tweet directly, which he never answered. The person who ran this operation left his team the very next day to work on another production which shall remain nameless, but I can assure you, that NO producer, or casting person wuld EVER conduct things like this if they did not have implicit instructions from up top. As to being a fame whore, I highly doubt that, as I hold myself accountable to not just my fans and audience, but to my children and family first and foremost. Don’t suppoort me..I don’t even know what you are doing here in the first place, and quite frankly there is no roon for ignorance here, anyway.
      (that is my real name!!)

  44. 57 Flor June 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I think we need an update on this. Did the production team called to apologyze? Did Emeril? What happened at the end?

  45. 58 Flor June 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Whoa slippery mermaid sounds more like trash than a mermaid.
    The trailer park is down the road to the left maid…oops mermaid.

    Please someone take out the trash…before the place starts to smell.

    • 59 mari June 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Flor, I do not appreciate the low class remark you made. All you are showing is how low class and ignorant you really are. I didnt read any insult that was directed to a specific race. The term that was used was “ethnic”. Now if Im not mistakin ethnic doesnt mean spanish. MY point of it all was that in my OPINION it was more of a discrimination towards those whose names are stereotyped as being too ethnic ( which can be of any ethnicity). There are many Asians, Arabs, polish, geeks, etc that because of there names are considered too ethnic. So, all im saying is that YES THEY WERE WRONG and that I believe it was not a discrimination towards hispanics or latins. For one why invite DAISY MARTINEZ ( who is hispanic) to the show if they have prejudices against hispanics or latins. In my opinion it seems like the staff was loooking for more of a “main stream american guests” , hence the remarks “too ethnic”. I believe Daisy rightfully so was upset and blogged about it, but in doing so I think she took it as a, “against Latin people” than what it might have really been. Now nobody really knows what the staff was insinuating when saying too ethnic, Daisy, you or myself. Now you can take this for however you want, hopefully this time you will understand what my point was. If not I’m done trying to explain something that is obviously over your head and a few others.

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