'Gigante,' Don Francisco’s docuseries about Latinos in the U.S.
Mario Kreutzberger, also known as Don Franciso, will star 'Gigante,' a new docuseries about the Latino community in the U.S.
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The new television series Gigante, is inspired by the television program, Sábado Gigante, which was broadcast for five decades in Chile, Mexico and the United States, hosted by Chile's Mario Kreutzberger, better known as 'Don Francisco' in the entertainment industry.
The idea for the docuseries is based on the archive of the program and takes Kreutzberger's migration history into account.
“The series will tell how a Chilean Jewish immigrant in Miami managed to shape the way millions of other immigrants of dozens of nationalities throughout the Western Hemisphere identified, bringing us all closer together and forever changing the face of the United States and America. Latina in the process,” said Kareem Tabsch, who serves as director and executive producer of Gigante with Alex Fumero .
The television production hopes to become a visual narrative about Latino immigration in the United States. It will also present unpublished images from the host's personal archive, and interviews with celebrities who appeared on Sábado Gigante in the past.
“I’m at a time in my life where it is more interesting looking backward. Where I have the full perspective of not only my 60 years as a professional, but also where I’m able to fully analyze Don Francisco and Sabado Gigante's record-breaking run and what it meant to so many people,” Kreutzberger said in a statement released by Onyx Collective, a new content brand formed under Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE), which owns the distribution’s rights of the docuseries.
Onyx Collective has not yet revealed the release date, but it announced that Gigante will broadcast on Hulu in the United States, on Disney+ in Europe and on Star Plus in Latin America.
Behind Sábado Gigante's Popularity
Despite Don Francisco’s popularity and apparent charisma on television, a scandal with allegations of sexual harassment hindered the TV program. In 2018, Chilean comedian Natalia Valdebenito denounced the child abuse she experienced in Clan Infantil of Sábado Gigante, which she participated in when she was 10 years old.
“Things happened that obviously left all the children half 'I don't want this anymore.' Things that have to do with children's safety, especially not mine, that's why it's hard for me to talk about it. We are talking about abuse. I would denounce it but I am not the one involved, I am not directly involved,” she told CNN Chile. Valdebenito assured, at that time, that she met the abuser although she decided not to name him to protect the victim.
Besides the harassment case, journalist and writer Laura Landaeta also accused the Chilean host of abuse of power and harassment in her book Don Francisco: Unauthorized Biography of a Giant.