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Creative Forces

Joanna Hausmann

This latina is bringing the first animated Venezuelan-American family to the U.S. in the Disney Channel

Joanna Hausmann Jatar is a Venezuelan-American writer and comedian. With a comedy style that puts Latinos at the forefront, Hausmann has found success on her YouTube channel and her social media posts and stories, which often feature different comedians.

This year, “Hamster & Gretel” premiered, with Hausmann as a head writer and co-producer. It marks the first instance where an animated American TV show has a Venezuelan-American family at the center.

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Hausmann started her career in comedy with her YouTube channel, which became incredibly popular. Instead of relying on Latino stereotypes to crack jokes, Hausmann made sure to make her comedy as personal and specific as possible. Her channel, “Joanna Rants”, often shed a light on different Latino accents, and explained Latin American customs and politics to a global audience, all while making people laugh.

Hausman’s specifitity resulted in her friendship with Dan Povenmire, the creator of Hamster & Gretel,” “Phineas & Ferb,” and more, who reached out to her since he’s married to a Venezuelan woman. “Since Venezuelan culture brought us together, we had to incorporate it into this world,” said Hausman of their show in an interview with Caracas Chronicles.

While the show is about a little girl with super powers and a magical hamster, Hausmann made sure to infuse it with a variety of Venezuelan details. The protagonist, Gretel, has a Venezuelan mother who often cooks her children arepas. The family’s home has a painting of the Avila, an infamous Venezuelan mountain that has a presence in most Venezuelan homes.

Hausmann is a clear example of the importance of identity, how it defines you and how it has the capacity to open numerous doors. “It shows you that being authentic to yourself will ultimately bring you wonderful opportunities because what lies very deep at the bottom of your heart is something that, at the end of the day, is very universal,” she said.

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