After years of calling for Latina representation on "Saturday Night Live," the show finally responded by hiring Mexican-American comedian Melissa Villaseñor earlier this month. Considering that she was the first-ever Latina to join the cast in over four decades, this news was a big freaking deal. But now she is facing backlash over her past tweets that are being called out as racist.
Villaseñor's tweets first came under scrutiny last week, after journalist Aura Bogado questioned why around 2,000 tweets had been deleted from the comedian's Twitter account.
At the time, tweets that hadn't yet been deleted (but are now removed) started to surface showing Villaseñor making negative comments about Black, Mexican, and Japanese people.
News of Villaseñor's tweets have caused an uproar on the internet.
The tweets are particularly upsetting to those who had hoped she'd be the Latino advocate "SNL" so desperately needs.
Not everyone was quick to judge her tweets, and some people came to her defense.
This controversy is similar to the once faced by Trevor Noah last year, following the announcement that he would succeed Jon Stewart as host of "The Daily Show."
Noah was accused of displaying sexist and anti-Semitic attitudes after people uncovered his past jokes on Twitter. The comedian issued a "non-apology" in response to the uproar, and given the fact that he still serves as the host of "The Daily Show," he seems to have escaped from the backlash unscathed.
Amy Schumer has also faced similar backlash in response to jokes she made earlier in her career, such as when she once said, "I used to date Hispanic guys, but now I prefer consensual."
After she was called out about this on Twitter by a user who asked about her "value system," Schumer acknowledged that the joke was distasteful and apologized.
"I wrote this joke two years ago. I used to do a lot of short, dumb jokes like this," she wrote. "I played a dumb white girl character on stage. I still do sometimes. Once I realized I had more eyes and ears on me and had an influence, I stopped telling jokes like that on stage. I am evolving as an artist. I am taking responsibility and hope I haven’t hurt anyone. And I apologize [if] I did. Thanks again for asking.”
Who knows if Villaseñor will take a cue from Noah and Schumer and respond to the backlash, but as of publication, she has yet to issue a statement or an apology for the tweets.
Vivala has reached out to the comedian for comment and will update with any response.