In a depressingly routine development, Tenoch Huerta has been accused of sexual assault. On Saturday morning, María Elena Ríos, a musician and activist, tweeted in response to Poder Prieto, an artists’ collective which includes Huerta, that “they protect the violator and sexual PREDATOR @TenochHuerta” (translation mine, emphasis hers).
Though she offered no details—as is her right—Ríos elaborated in a second tweet, “It’s very difficult to talk about the emotional abuse and abuse of power of a sexual predator who is loved around the world for playing a character in a movie like @TenochHuerta. Charming in appearance, the great hallmark of a narcissist plus a good helping of victimization.”
Finally, when asked by another user, “Tenoch assaulted you or what’s going on?” Ríos replied, “That’s right, and several more.”
Ríos is a saxophonist, and what kicked this whole thing off is, apparently, a compensation dispute between her and Poder Prieto, which she says owes her for a podcast appearance. You can follow Twitter receipts for the day leading up to Rios’s allegation, that she was already on Poder Prieto for publishing a podcast in which she participated but was not compensated. They claim the podcast isn’t their production and they didn’t publish it, so THEY can’t be the ones to pay her. Semi-related, but Poder Prieto was involved in another accreditation/compensation dispute last September, when Tenoch Huerta wore a feathered cape to Milan Fashion Week that was credited as a collaboration between brand Hijos del Maíz and Mexican designer Diana Buendía. One problem: the garment was originally made by Purépechan artisan Feliciana Hernández Bautista, also known as “Nana Feliciana”.
Nana Feliciana sold the garment without knowing it was going to be modified, let alone worn to Milan Fashion Week and attributed to another designer. TikTokker and influencer Luz Valdez drew attention to the situation, and ultimately got Huerta to meet Nana Feliciana in person, though she says Poder Prieto tried to take credit for the meeting, when Valdez, in fact, arranged it with Huerta directly.
It kind of sounds like Poder Prieto has 1) a problem dealing directly and transparently with artists, and 2) will cover for Tenoch Huerta, their most internationally recognizable member, at all costs. That’s a recipe for disaster.
María Elena Ríos, meanwhile, is already a survivor of intimate partner violence. In 2019, she survived an acid attack orchestrated by her ex-boyfriend, Juan Vera Carrizal, a former politician, who was upset that Ríos ended their relationship. Carrizal and two others await trial; a third man remains at large. Since then, Ríos has campaigned for stricter laws involving acid attacks, particularly the “Malena” law—her nickname is Malena—which would qualify acid attacks as paramount to attempted femicide, and not just as assault and “bodily injury”.
Of course, people are once again pondering the Marvel of it all, as this is now their second high-profile actor with serious allegations against him in the last few months. Honestly? They should just cancel everything not already in production and ditch the multiverse saga, or whatever they’re calling it. They’re not in so deep they can’t just handwave it in the next Doctor Strange movie as a “Poochie” situation.
The multiverse imploded and we’re just fine! Just focus on the next-gen characters picking up the baton and making their way in a world without the marquee heroes like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Natasha Romanoff. I don’t think audiences are super into multiverses, anyway, they only seem to like the concept when it comes with fresh, dazzling execution like Everything Everywhere All At Once or Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Marvel has rarely been lauded for “fresh, dazzling execution”, so maybe best to just let this go, have one of the magic characters mention off-hand that the multiverse solved itself, and introduce a new face as Kang and/or Namor, and call it a day.
And maybe start like, background checking people before hiring them. I’m not convinced that would actually solve this problem, as they would likely only be looking for on-the-record accusations and not whisper network gossip, but STILL. What is going on in their process that this KEEPS HAPPENING?
We’ll have to see what further developments come of this—as yet no legal steps have been taken—and Tenoch Huerta has yet to comment on Ríos’s allegations, but Ríos ended her initial call out of Poder Prieto with, No ando jugando, which means, “I’m not playing.” Something tells me he won’t be able to remain silent for long.