I don’t trust Univision.
I’ve watched for over a decade (in my studies of Spanish), and their programming is socially juvenile at best. I don’t mean that in the sense that it doesn’t appeal to my tastes as an American, but instead in reference to their continued commitment to representing and highlighting a Spanish-speaking world that acknowleges Whiteness above all. With few exceptions, they’ve maintained a dedication to the lightest, blondest, and most European-passing representation of society possible — an image that doesn’t represent the realities of the Spanish-speaking world.
This is more than just an aesthetic…it is a corporate mission statement made manifest, and that statement is in direct opposition to what The Root is…a media entity that, even with its faults, represents and American and in some ways, human experience that overtly decenters Whiteness, while serving as a platform for minority content creators.
Univision’s Intrusion On Black Work
As with most struggles around Blackness, the question of our work and reimbursement centers on the perception and reality of value. I don’t know what The Root pays (though I want to find out). I don’t know their policies for working with writers and other content creators. I don’t know if they treat their freelancers and employees fairly. That, for now, is beside the point, because The Root is a platform, and on the Internet, platform equals power.
In an age of new media, the purchase concerns me more than, say, the purchase of BET. While that was problematic, I always saw The Root and other similar platforms as catalysts toward attaining just valuation of Black work and creation on a medium where we shine in ways that many find threatening.
I am scared of losing any of those catalysts to an entity proven to be comfortably ignorant of the minority experience. I mistrust them most because new media presents a frontier of income and paid work for Black people that, while burdened with many of the usual issues around race, shows more potential for valuation based on merit than traditional careers and reimbursement structures.
I essentially do not trust Univision to continue into an area they’ve actively ignored for the whole of their existence.