Soapbox Mexico

How a soap survives

How to keep a telenovela profitable and demanding sponsors happy while inspiring the production team to stay passionate.

Soapbox Mexico goes behind the scenes of one of Mexico’s longest running and most popular telenovelas which promotes women’s rights and positive social change: What Women Don’t Say.

The glamorous boss of all telenovelas has made it clear that What Women Don’t Say is part of a commercial business which needs sponsors – ratings alone will not do it, they need money from sponsors too, to champion women’s rights.

So executive producer Alicia is under pressure to keep the programme profitable, and is struggling to deal with a sponsor called “Price Shoes”, who comes in at a scriptwriting stage. 

The tensions are evident, squaring the creative and social mission with keeping the demanding client happy. Salvador, a film director who sensitively steered a Down’s Syndrome actor previously, has to jump through hoops on the set.

Alicia at home with her grown daughter is a tender if unusual mother, but when she takes the team away for a weekend of team building we see her tough side emerge. As rumblings of discontent break into open hostility, she promises to root out mediocrity and to fire anyone who slacks.

Laura, Alicia’s deputy, goes to bolster the struggling Salvador on set and they just manage to get the episode made. They have survived the test – the client at least is happy.