'Cristela' Tackles Stereotypes, But Does It Overcome Them?

by 5:26 PM PDT, October 08, 2014
Playing 'Cristela' Tackles Stereotypes, But Does It Overcome Them?

ET was on the set of the new ABC show Cristela and asked -- is comedy the best way to deal with racial issues?

Cristela. is based on experiences from the life of the show's star and creator, comedienne Cristela Alonzo. In it, viewers are shown some of the hardships and prejudices that the 35-year-old comedienne faced growing up in Texas as a Mexican-American with a funny spin.

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"I always feel like the moment somebody says anything that might be racially charged or whatever it is -- the moment you laugh at it, you take away its power," said Cristela.

Cristela also overcame poverty to get to where she is now. She told ET's Rocsi Diaz that there was a time when she and her family didn't have a place to stay.

"We were squatters -- my family -- for the first eight years of my life," Cristela told ET's Rocsi Diaz. "The day our show got picked up I called my sister and my sister said it perfectly. She started crying and she said, 'Things like this don't happen to people like us.'"

Cristela premieres Friday night at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.