Editor Tim Whyte, writer Trevor Morgan and columnist John Boston: You spoiled your coverage of the late and admirable Mr. Cesar Romero’s induction into the Santa Clarita Valley’s Walk of Western Stars by your treatment of the person responsible for leading the community to honor him.
Morgan wrote: “Romero, who died in 1994, was represented at the ceremony by Miranda Cunha, a local resident who claims to be the daughter of Romero and dancer/actress Carmen Miranda. Romero was never married and does not have any confirmed children. Cunha has, however, been lobbying the city for Romero’s star for years and said she’s very happy that it finally materialized. ‘I was just thanking everybody for honoring my father, that it means the world to me and that I appreciate it very much,’said Cunha. ‘I have found my home in Santa Clarita… and I feel like I’ve met so many wonderful people here.’”
Her “claims” are not relevant to the purpose of the event. Morgan controverts them only to humiliate her, after she’d expressed warm regards for their community.
Editor Whyte irrelevantly referred to her honest career in entertainment, doing what directors tell her to do and what producers pay her to do, then imputing upon her nefarious intent, stating that she “is known for a 2016 appearance on ‘America’s Got Talent’ in which she did a song and dance number while rubbing her bosoms in Simon Cowell’s face. I am not making this up. Google it. Either Cunha is absolutely telling the truth about being Romero’s daughter, or we’ve all been had.”
Rephrasing Whyte’s words, she is “absolutely telling the truth about being Romero’s daughter,” according to an experienced professional investigator.
No, you haven’t “all been had.” She isn’t trying to “[have]” you. What she’d want is for you to have her, as a respected member of the community.
I went with Miranda and her manager, Donna White, to the casting call, at L.A.’s Convention Center, for the show that Whyte refers to. Experts at finding what appeals to a mass audience immediately perceiving that Miranda had it, kept her, and us, there until late in the evening, long after they’d sent thousands of other hopefuls home. She made the show news around the world “[a]nd ‘be amazing’ is just what the Latin crooner did as she invited the judge up onto the stage. Something in Miranda’s performance obviously impressed the judges,” according to thesun.co.uk. “They loved her show so much that Miranda’s seriously raunchy display earned her ‘yes’ votes across the board — clearly Simon [the show’s host judge] enjoyed it more than he let on.”
However, it was all rehearsed, including the judges’ astonished reactions.
Like you, they needed to be seen as being “shocked, shocked to find that” a woman would behave the way Miranda had been directed to perform. She terms such hypocrisy as “boobaphobia.”
This condition of popular culture has caused Miranda to be typecast, as in the western “A Gunfighter’s Pledge” (2008) in which she played the “Fellini Prostitute” (uncredited). Another actress who was similarly used to portray a Latina object of shameful desire was Eddra Gale, as La Saraghina, one of Fellini’s prostitutes in his “8+1⁄2” (1963). Sophia Loren is the most successful actress in this category.
Columnist Boston wrote that he could “make a serious case for Mr. Romero and kudos for the tireless work of his alleged vampire-stand-in love child getting Cesar his saddle.”
Boston’s reference to her as a “vampire-stand-in,” alluding to her non-Angloid appearance, could be interpreted as Latina-shaming racism. His comments about her could only confuse a reader who hasn’t delved into her unusual background. They might begin at her YouTube channel.
She was raised in the western San Fernando Valley by her uncle, Carmen Miranda’s nephew, Samuel Cunha, a prominent expert on aerospace nuclear power systems. From her intellectual and scientifically sophisticated family, she found employment with NASA, as a researcher. Parallels can be seen between her career and that of Hedy Lamarr, inventor and glamor icon.
Cesar Romero, the honoree himself, was also shadowed by mystery over his heritage. Talk was that he was the biological grandson of José Martí, author of the words to the song “Guantanamera,” which, in parts relevant to Miranda’s story, reads: “I am a truthful woman from where the palm tree grows and I want to let out the verses of my soul. My verse is flaming red. I grow a white rose in July just as in January for the honest friend who gives me his open hand. With the poor people of the earth, I want to cast my lot.”
As The Signal respects the Walk of Western Stars, an institution perpetuating the spirit of the mythic cowboy, it should respect Miranda’s spirit and follow the tenets of Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code: “The Cowboy must never… take unfair advantage.… must always tell the truth.… must be gentle with… must not advocate or possess racially… intolerant ideas.… must be a good worker.… [and] must respect women.”
Kramer Junction, California