In this week’s episode of the Apple TV Plus drama The Morning Show, Nestor Carbonell’s Yanko Flores is a weatherman under siege. No, he’s not stuck in a snowdrift or facing an oncoming tornado. Instead he’s caught in a hurricane of online sentiment created after he flippantly uses a Native American term to describe his adoring relationship with Punxsatawney Phil.
Yanko apologizes, and he thinks that’s enough, but the internet soldiers on and Yanko faces real consequences for using a phrase he never knew was offensive. It’s a touch heavy handed, to be sure, but that’s The Morning Show for you.
We talked to Nestor Carbonell about Yanko’s gaffe, and you can watch that whole chat in the video above. Carbonell told us that, personally, he had no knowledge “whatsoever” that the term Yanko uses could be offensive, saying he thinks The Morning Show’s writers are “trying to come up with something as innocent as possible to drive the point home.”
That point, Carbonell says, is that “cancel culture has run amok,” saying “You can insult one person and it can mean that they would start a campaign to not just criticize you, but to destroy you.”
While Carbonell acknowledges that there’s “absolutely a validity in criticizing someone for something they might say that might be offensive,” he thinks “this notion of dragging [someone] through the mud, through a campaign of destruction is another thing altogether.”
If you want to read more about why the term Yanko used is offensive to indigenous people, you can check out this excellent piece by Discover Magazine. If you’d like to hear more from the cast of The Morning Show, you can check out our recent interviews with Jennifer Aniston, Billy Crudup, Mark Duplass, and Karen Pittman, as well as the show’s creator, Mimi Leder.