Let's not blame Bill Maher here... even though the video excerpt is from his new documentary about religion, where he highlights some issues with the many world religions in order to cast "doubt". Religulous is an interesting documentary, one I would recommend if you know little about other religions, particularly Mormons. Scary...
However, I am not here to talk about religion. I'll save that for another day. What I do want to highlight is how the film makes a reference to Puerto Rico in a very stereotypical way.
Time and time again, the images I see of Puerto Ricans are so misrepresentative of the people here. I have criticized many aspects of the country, and I would be the first one to emphasize something like the murder stats. But fair is fair, and there are a lot of good people here. If it were all just girls in booty shorts, I am sure the incoming flights & hotel occupancy would not be such an issue.
Yes, my hair dresser does have 1 1/2 inch multi-colored nails, but she's careful not to take out my eye, and beyond having its own definitive culture, Puerto Rico is certainly not one big Reggaeton video.
The question I leave you with is: Where is the concern from the government of Puerto Rico when it comes to improving the image the world has of this place? Certainly in the media and popular culture, it's been pigeonholed for sure. It seems like this pseudo-state needs some very talented, English speaking, Public Relations people stat.
It's not Bill Maher's fault. He did not create the stereotype, although his film perpetuates it. That comes from within through failure to make any of the positive things visible, and (on a larger scale) failing to fix the negative things.
Notice I did NOT say "make the negative things less visible". That is NOT the answer.