The Los Angeles Times published an article titled “The man who didn’t invent Flamin’ Hot Cheetos” on Sunday that ignited backlash from fans of both the snack and self-proclaimed inventor, Richard Montañez. Some consider the article an unjustified attack on Montañez, who created a brand of his own with his story of rising from factory floor worker to executive at snack maker Frito-Lay. The exposé asserts that the spicy chips were developed by a separate division at Frito-Lay and that a central part of Montañez’s claim to fame simply isn’t true. The story comes on the heels of Montañez releasing his second memoir in June and the production of a biopic on him directed by Eva Longoria. We talk about the fallout from the article and the broader question of how Latinos are portrayed and represented in the media and corporate world.
LA Times Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Exposé Hits a Nerve with Latinos
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: PepsiCo executive Richard Montanez accepts the Inspiration Award onstage at the '2014 Latinos De Hoy Awards' presented by Hoy & Los Angeles Times at Los Angeles Times Chandler Auditorium ( Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images for The Los Angeles Times)
Memo Torres, writer; director of partnerships, L.A. Taco
Rodrigo Nuñez, host, El Pochcast