Kingpin spin: Lighten Up

We’re now in the midst — or throes — of Kingpin , NBC’s highly hyped, six-episode mini-series. In the judgment of some, it could do for Hispanic (drug cartel) stereotypes what The Untouchables , The Godfather and The Sopranos did for Italian (mobster) type casting and what the NBA does for blacks.

As if we needed reminding, the Hall of Defame never closes. Cue the theme song: “I Wonder Who’s Dissing Her Now.”

At any rate, Kingpin umbrage apparently has been taken by a number of Hispanics. Including, quite possibly, some already reeling from daffy Dame Edna’s comic putdown of the Spanish language in Vanity Fair and those thought to have fully recovered from the ethnic trauma of the Taco Bell Chihuahua. For the self-esteem crowd, the lesson learned was obviously not “lighten up.”

In fact, the St. Petersburg Times — ever vigilant on the societal-slur front — brought together a panel of Hispanic leaders, activists and students to watch and critique Kingpin’s debut episode.

Fortunately, Rene Gonzalez, the founder and artistic director of Tampa’s Spanish Lyric Theater, was among the panelists. His Kingpin spin: “I don’t identify with any of these characters

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