The Addams family is a beloved, kinda spooky, kinda cooky story that has been interpreted many times in the past few years.
The Addams were created by Charles Addams in 1938 as a recurring comic strip appearing in the pages of The New Yorker. The family was featured in almost 60 panels Addams’ submitted to the magazine between the ’40s and ’50s.
The first version of the family was ethnically ambiguous, with no clear indications of what their ethnicity was. The family members were even nameless during their run in the paper and only presented as a weird and spooky family who went on fun adventures.
The Addams Family is Hispanic
By the 60s, Addam’s comic strip was so popular that it was picked up to be turned into a television series. The show was still in black and white then, so it perfectly fit the aesthetic of the family.
Since the Addams family did not have first names, creator Charles Addams gave the actors playing the main characters creative freedom to name their respective characters.
Jon Astin played the patriarch of the family and opted to name his character Gomez instead of Repelli (a name that was a play on the word Repellent). In an interview with the Ocala Star-Banner in 1965, Astin described how he was given ‘free-rein’ to artfully express the “Latin-lover blood in Gomez’s veins” in the show, who was allegedly from a Spanish family of Castilian descent,
Astin’s Gomez Addams arguably marked the beginning of the Addams' Hispanic roots. The 60’s television series only ran for two seasons, but it gained a cult following and even became a big pop culture reference source in the following years.
The family slinked back into the spotlight when Barry Sonnenfeld made two movies featuring the Addams. The first movie, unironically titled The Addams Family, turned into an instant hit, thanks to an excellent cast who portrayed the family's unique cookiness quite well. The same cast returned for the movie’s sequel, The Addams Family Values, which was released in 1993.
Raul Julia, an actor of Puerto Rican descent, stayed true to the Gomez being of Hispanic descent.
The other members of the family remained ethnically ambiguous, with Anjelica Huston playing Morticia, Cristina Ricci playing Wednesday, and Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester.
Latinx Playing the Addams Family in Wednesday
In 2022, the family returned to the screen with the Netflix series Wednesday, which was focused on the family's young daughter. In the series, we follow Wednesday going through the trials of being a teenager - avoiding distractions from boys, focusing on her schoolwork, solving murders, and catching monsters.
The cast for Wednesday is predominantly Latinx, with Latina actress Jenna Ortega taking the lead as Wednesday Addams. She is joined by Luiz Guzman as Gomez Adams, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Isaac Ordonez as Pugsley.
In an interview with Netflix, Ortega talks about representing her community in the series
Wednesday is technically a Latina character and that’s never been represented. So, for me, any time that I have an opportunity to represent my community, I want that to be seen.
Addams Family Traditions in Wednesday
The Addams Family may also practice Latin traditions at home depicting their Latin roots.
In the featurette for Wednesday,we see her mentioning their family altar in their living room to accommodate more seating for the year-long celebration of Dio de los Muertos.
Dio de los Muertos is an annual celebration usually held on the first and second day of November, but can also be held on the 31st of October or 6th of November, depending on the local traditions. The holiday is celebrated in Mexico.
This is a subtle hint that the Addams family follows Hispanic traditions, thus, further emphasizing that the family is of Hispanic descent.