After already postponing it one week, Comedy Central will now move ahead with airing a previously filmed sketch for its series Alternatino which discusses mass shootings.
Star and creator Arturo Castro announced the network’s plan Monday and on Tuesday shared via social media a link to the sketch (above) for viewers to watch before the full episode airs Tuesday night, along with a video message where he said he “realized it’s always going to be too soon” and that he wants to use his platform for good.
This comes after the sketch — which was written and filmed nearly a year ago — was pushed from its scheduled airdate last week following the July 28 shooting at California’s Gilroy Garlic Festival where a gunman killed three and injured 13 others.
“And then, this weekend happened,” Castro said, referring to the weekend shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio that have left 31 people dead so far and many others injured. “And I’m just really frustrated and sad and angry to see that hateful political rhetoric has real world consequences.”
In the sketch, Diego, a recent immigrant (played by Castro) takes a cultural assimilation class where the instructor explains the issue of gun violence. Coming from a country where shootings are cartel motivated, however, the immigrant-student says he doesn’t understand the causes behind mass shootings in America. His teacher’s explanations, including that the perpetrator may be “just a lonely kid” or that virtually anyone can buy a gun, does nothing to clear up Diego’s confusion.
“Okay, I’m not going to get this,” he says at the end, packing up his things. “I’m just going back to Central America. It’s super dangerous, but they have rules that I can understand.”
In the video message the Guatemalan actor shared on social media, he further explained why he made the sketch and felt it was important for it to air now. “I come from Central America. I’m no stranger to gun violence,” Castro said. “But this particular brand of mass shootings, particularly ones that are fueled by race, are hard to understand. And they’re impossible to accept. After a lot of soul searching, I realized it’s always going to be too soon, as long as we keep allowing this to happen and don’t come together to make things change.
“In no way am I trying to make light of it. My voice is all I have, man. My heart is all I have. And I have to use it to speak up for things that I care about,” Castro continued. “I really hope this is not one of those tragedies we eventually get desensitized to, because this does not need to be the new normal. It doesn’t.”
In a Tuesday op-ed in The Washington Post, Castro explained in more detail why he wanted to talk about gun violence, and why we should call out the “racism and xenophobia” that fuels it.
Alternatino airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.