I'm a big Rent fan, I watched the movies and have gone to see the broadway play. It's such a great musical, but never realized how stereotypical it could be. Take the character Mimi Marquez, she's a stripper, goes to clubs and dances for money, she is also a druggie, she needs her coke. She is a hyper-sexualized character who falls in love with Roger, the rockstar. And did I mention she's latino.
In the play she does a strip tease, and even tries to serenade Roger, who resists. He is angered for the fact that she broke into his place and claims to not wanting to be bothered. She's love sick for Roger and just wants to be his.
When she runs away the voice play call says, "Mimi chica, Donde Estas?, Tu Mama, ..." and repeats itself. We were never told that she was latino, nor the fact that she could speak spanish. But why does she have to play the stripper/druggie? Why couldn't it have been Maureen or Joanne?