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American Horror Stories Fans Are Tired Of This Racist Trope

Tropes are often employed in the world of entertainment as a recurring plot device or type of character. Just think of the lone hero, comedic sidekick, or femme fatale — all examples of tropes that can pop up in almost any genre and medium. When it comes to the "American Horror Story" spin-off, "American Horror Stories," it seems that some audience members have taken umbrage with the fifth episode, titled "Ba'al," from the first season of "Stories." This particular episode focuses on Liv Whitley (Billie Lourd), a woman who is having trouble conceiving a child. Liv gains possession of a small demonic idol that results in her becoming pregnant, but she later pays a terrible price as she begins to suffer horrific visions, though the episode certainly doesn't end in a predictable way.

As Liv begins to believes herself and her child to be the targets of a supernatural entity, one of her caretakers, named Norma (Misha Gonz-Cirkl), reacts hysterically when she spots Liv's demonic idol. It was this moment that some fans view as a racist trope, with u/jvp180 writing on Reddit, "I'm tired of Hollywood portraying Latino and Hispanic people as superstitious lunatics and/or human supernatural detectors. And Hollywood always cast brown Latino/Hispanic actors in these roles, usually as maids or other subservient roles to white people. They instantly know when evil is afoot and instead of explaining or being rational they lapse into frantic Spanish and freak out the white people."

Fans don't like that Hispanics are used for religious freakouts

Many agreed with that Reddit statement, like u/AuthenticStereotype, who replied, "I said out loud 'yep, you know it's bad when the nanny refuses to speak English and runs.' This is in so many horror films, that I felt like they were highlighting this trope — like satire."

u/JMiranda7878 added that they physically rolled their eyes upon seeing the scene involving Norma, and immediately knew that Norma would make a series of religious motions and speak in Spanish. They also felt upset that Hollywood tends to make Latinos fanatically religious, finding the practice to be incredibly frustrating. u/bluedreamer000 was also bothered that Norma's role didn't extend past the generalized trope of a religious freak-out, while u/The_Schnitz said that the character served no real purpose other than satisfying that plot device.

u/sapphireskiies also felt the same way, adding that they are Hispanic and that this entire scene was outrageous, exaggerated, and stereotypical. They continued, "I agree it's messed up that in this day and age when Hollywood should be more aware of the importance of racial equality and inclusivity, they still gravitate toward casting Hispanic people as maids and other subordinate background characters." Collectively, these comments make it clear that at least some viewers of "American Horror Stories" aren't keen on seeing racial or religious stereotypes and tropes.