In the fourth episode of season 2, Yanko (Nestor Carbonell) had to apologize for an offensive comment, and may have only made it worse. At least according to his bosses Mia Jordan (Karen Pittman) and Stella Bak (Greta Lee).
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the fourth episode of The Morning Show Season 2.]
Lee, Pittman and Carbonell spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet on Sept. 10 by Webex about the new season of The Morning Show. Their opinions on the apology situation varied as drastically as their characters’. New episodes of The Morning Show premiere Fridays on Apple TV+.
Nestor Carbonell wishes Yanko stood up to ‘The Morning Show’ producers
Even behind the scenes, Carbonell thought his character was in the right. Carbonell said he wished Yanko had pushed back harder, but agreed his apology was lackluster.
“I was all about Yanko being resolute, holding his ground,” Carbonell said. “If anything, I was like, ‘Dude, why are you even doing this apology? Don’t go there’ but Yanko didn’t listen to me. So off he went and did his lame apology. He did what he could because he had to answer to his conscience on some level. His conscience told him that this is just absurd on his face, that the head of the news division has completely misrepresented who he is and has not backed him in this thing. So he feels deeply underappreciated, deeply misunderstood. So no, I was hoping he would stand his ground and he did in the end, but it took him a while.”
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.”
In tonight’s episode, Yanko experiences the fallout of his Groundhog’s Day comment when he is called out on social media by viewers who have created the hashtag, #yankYanko. This spurs Stella & Mia to force Yanko to apologize on air even despite his feelings of having not done anything wrong. His apology doesn’t go over well due to it coming across as insincere possibly because it wasn’t a scripted response. Honorable mention to his final scene in the episode where he and Ty are getting into an impromptu performance by Daniel with them joining him in song.
Huge congrats on the new season, it’s great.
Nestor Carbonell: Thank you so much, and I feel very much at home on your outlet. I am a nerd, just ask my kids.
First off, I want to ask how it felt getting to return for a second season and what were you most excited for?
Well, Sophia, for so many reasons, I was excited. I mean, I think for so many of us who were because of COVID, the subsequent shutdown, and how it affected me, I was grateful that I had a job to come back to, many people didn’t have that luxury. I was grateful for that. So gratitude was the first thing, just being grateful to have a job and that we’re able to come back to work in a safe environment thanks to Apple, which was able to make that happen in an incredible way. So that and then actually getting to work on a show that handles the issues of the day in such an incredible way with this obviously, extraordinary cast and the writing is just so good, the crew, the directors, everybody. So, it’s a treat to get to work with material like this and with people like this. So for all those reasons, I was excited to come back.
The season one finale had an explosive ending, can you give me a preview of where we pick up and what fans can expect from the new season?
Absolutely, so we pick up I think, roughly around six months after where we left off when Alex proverbially blew up the network and it changed the network forever. It had people fired and there’s a big shake up in the network, including Alex herself. She basically had a bit of a breakdown and had to sort of come to terms with who she was, her identity, and try to find herself, while the show kept going under new leadership. And that’s where the show picks up, about six months after the fact, predating COVID still, so it’s before COVID hits the US. So, we get to find out through the show how COVID sort of comes into the into the news cycle, what people think about it, what they say, the silly comments some people say, including my character. Then we get to explore other issues that we’ve all explored in the last few years — namely, the advent of cancel culture, the dangers of it, the pitfalls of it, issues of race, the 2020 election is covered to some extent, and naturally, obviously, COVID. So, a lot of big issues.
What’s in store for Yanko in season two?
More pain, you’re definitely gonna see more pain, but Yanko is brokenhearted still when we see him six months after the fact, after Claire broke up with him. So you’re gonna see even more pain when he sort of unwittingly gets involved in and becomes a target of being canceled, having to sort of fight for his innocence and fight for it in the face of a boss that has painted him with one brushstroke, as someone who probably should apologize. He just simply doesn’t see it that way and he feels deeply misunderstood. So you’re going to see Yanko in even more pain than you saw before.
Over the summer Nestor directed an episode of the NBC medical drama, New Amsterdam which he announced during a recent interview for Season 2 of The Morning Show. The episode titled “Seed Money”, the 4th episode of the season will air next Tuesday on 10/12! Read the press release synopsis for the episode below:
Max struggles with a new fiscal reality at the hospital; Dr. Sharpe is on a mission to provide follow-up cancer screenings for patients before it’s too late; Bloom grapples with Dr. Shinwari’s new overnight schedule.
“Angry that he has been passed over to host a presidential debate, Danny (Desean Terry), a reporter on the show-within-the-show, demands to know what it is — being gay? Being Black? — that has impeded his career. Stella (Greta Lee), the blunt-speaking new president of UBA’s news division who is Asian American, agonizes about whether she was hired as a token, even as she is subjected to Trump-style racial slurs about the coronavirus on the street. Yanko Flores (Nestor Carbonell), the beloved Cuban American weatherman, is accused of appropriating Indigenous culture after he uses the expression “spirit animal” on the air, and then attacked again when his apology is deemed insufficiently sincere.”
The gallery has been updated with 100 + Screencaptures from tonight’s episode, Laura. We saw what will be the beginning of the cancel culture storyline for Yanko when he mentions spirit animal on air during a segment on Groundhog’s Day. When Ty warns him to watch what he says he points out that Ty is younger by calling him a zoomer. Honorable mention to Alex for blowing a kiss Yanko’s way when she walks back into the studio, she seems to think very highly of Yanko. And of course Yanko playing with a yellow balloon during the announcement about Alex was very cute, in the end don’t mind Yanko he’s just trying to be one with the groundhog.
Nestor is cast as the character of Rodrigues according to The Hollywood Reporter who also ran an article on the upcoming series.
Anna Sawai (F9: The Final Saga, Giri/Haji) is set to star alongside Hiroyuki Sanada and Cosmo Jarvis, rounding out the three leads in Shōgun, FX’s limited series period drama based on the best-selling novel by James Clavell. Additionally, Tadanobu Asano, Fumi Nikaido, Tokuma Nishioka, Takehiro Hira, Ako, Shinnosuke Abe, Yasunari Takeshima, Hiroto Kanai, Toshi Toda, Hiro Kanagawa, Nestor Carbonell, Yuki Kura, Tommy Bastow, Moeka Hoshi, Yoriko Doguchi and Yuka Kouri round out the ensemble cast in the project, which tells the story from both a Western and Japanese perspective.
It’s The Morning Show’s charismatic meteorologist, Yanko Flores, who finds himself “cancelled”. Early in the season, Yanko makes an off-hand remark about Trump’s border wall while at a dinner party, which sees his new boss Stella (Greta Lee) take umbrage with what she perceives as his right-wing tendencies.
“I think it’s interesting because he’s pegged as a Republican,” Nestor Carbonell, the man who plays Yanko, tells us. “I don’t think he ever comes out and says it? I think there is a tendency to want to put people in boxes, and I think that’s always been the case, but we’re in a much more polarising time politically here, at least here in the US.”
“And because we’re in such polarising political times,” he continues. “There’s even more of a desire to put people in boxes and say, Well, what camp Are you in? What team are you on? And I think with Yanko, he feels he’s been placed in a box by his new boss, this news director.”
To Carbonell, Yanko’s story this year is about exploring what he describes as the slightly more “insidious” and “dangerous” side of modern-day cancel culture. That immediate impulse so many of us have to judge someone for doing something we don’t like without taking the time to examine their actions or get to know the person based on our own biases.
While Carbonell doesn’t think that freedom of speech should protect potentially harmful speech from criticism, he worries about the dangers of cancel culture. For him, the threat comes from the anonymity (and therefore the lack of repercussions) that social media can provide to potentially malicious people.
“When people are determined. When they’re hell-bent on destroying you, destroying your career, and your livelihood, then social media becomes a really dangerous tool,” he explains. “A really dangerous arm, and there’s no accountability on the person making those claims. You know, they can say whatever they want, and nothing happens to them. So I love that [the writers] tackle this issue because I think we’re in a very dangerous time – we’re living in a time where, you know, everyone’s watching their back. Comedians can’t do their sets anymore for fear of being cancelled.”
To Carbonell, it’s all about motive. If you’re saying something to be deliberately hurtful or out of hate, that’s when it crosses the line, and his character Yanko certainly didn’t mean to offend anyone. Instead, Stella judges him based on her perception of events, and it’s this nuance that appealed so much to Carbonell going into the second season.
“I think [Stella’s] put him in a box, you know, that he’s this conservative guy, a hardcore, right-leaning Trump-supporting guy,” he said. “I think that relationship never recovers from that moment. You know she hasn’t even bothered to investigate where he is politically, not that it really matters, nor should it really matter. He’s just trying to do his job, when this issue comes up.”
Our man Yanko was here for the party in the newest episode of The Morning Show! He was full of snark, was the first one to greet Alex again (very sweet!), and trading poetry for politics. What an episode!
The Morning Show
as… Yanko Flores
STATUS: Filming Season 3
Galaxy Con Columbus
STATUS: December 2 – 4
(Subject to Change)
as… Silas St John
Site Name: Néstor Carbonell Central
Opened: December 1, 2020
Merged With Nestor Carbonell Fans: July 2021