A week after postponing the episode in response to the Gilroy mass shooting, and just three days after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Comedy Central will air the episode of “Alternatino” that includes a mass-shooting-themed sketch on Tuesday night.
In an Instagram story Monday night, Arturo Castro, creator and star of “Alternatino,” explained he decided to air it because “after a lot of soul searching, I realized it’s always going to be too soon.”
“Last week we were gonna release a sketch that we shot last year, that we wrote a year ago about gun violence,” Castro says in the clip. “And then the tragic shooting in California happened and we decided to postpone it to this week. And then this weekend happened, and I’m just really frustrated and sad, and angry to see that hateful political rhetoric has real world consequences.”
“I come from Central America. I’m no stranger to gun violence,” he continued. “But this particular brand of mass shootings, particularly ones fueled by race, are hard to understand. And they’re impossible to accept. After a lot of soul searching, I realized it’s always going to be too soon, as long as we keep allowing this to happen and don’t come together to make things change.”
Saying that “my voice is all I have man. My heart is all I have. And I have to use it to speak up for things that I care about,” Castro described the sketch, in which he plays a Guatemalan immigrant in a “Welcome to the United States” class who cannot believe what he’s hearing when his teacher explains mass shootings to the students.
“I really hope this is not one of those tragedies we eventually get desensitized to, because this does not need to be the new normal. It doesn’t,” Castro said. “My heart is with the families and with the victims of these tragedies. Not just these ones, but of all gun violence. I just want to say that this does not need to be the new normal. We can make a change.” Castro then urged fans to get involved with the group EveryTown for Gun Safety.
Last week, Comedy Central decided to pull the episode out of respect for the three people killed by a shooter at the Gilroy garlic festival in Northern California. Comedy Central planned to air the episode this week, but the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, in which a combined 31 people were killed, made that less certain.
“Alternatino,” currently in its first season, frequently examines contentious issues, particularly affecting underrepresented communities. Sketches on the show have explored topics like President Donald Trump’s aid to Puerto Rico after the 2017 hurricanes, Latino stereotypes, and Latino representation in film and TV. It airs Tuesdays on Comedy Central at 10:30 p.m.