It's Mexican Week on 'The Great British Baking Show.' Here's why some say episode depicts 'hurtful' stereotypes.

Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Noel Fielding on
Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and Noel Fielding on The Great British Baking Show. (Credit: Mark Bourdillon /Channel Four/Love Productions / Courtesy Everett Collection)

The Great British Baking Show is arguably one of the sweetest gems to stream on Netflix. This week, however, its co-hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, as well as judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, found themselves in hot water by viewers who believe the latest episode promotes harmful stereotypes about Mexicans.

The episode, entitled "Mexican Week," features the amateur bakers cooking an array of Mexican-themed dishes in three separate challenges: a signature bake, showcasing a popular dish related to the theme; a technical challenge that's judged blindly and requires a higher level of skill; and a show-stopper bake, aiming to test every aspects of their talent — including taste, concept, skill and design.

The episode aired on Britain's Channel 4 on Tuesday before officially dropping on Netflix on Friday. Right away, viewers took notice of a joke made by Lucas and Fielding at the beginning of the episode.

The duo, both of whom are British, open the show wearing traditional Mexican sombreros and sarapes.

"Hi Noel, are you excited for Mexican week?" Lucas asks Fielding, to which Fielding replies, "I'm really excited for Mexican Week, absolutely pumped. Although I don't feel like we should make Mexican jokes, people will get upset."

"Not even Juan?" Lucas asks. "Not even Juan," answers Fielding.

The exchange was shared Tuesday on the show's U.K. Twitter account. Almost instantly, the post began circulating on social media, with many people, including members of the Latino community calling out producers for promoting harmful Mexican tropes that don't serve Mexican people and the Hispanic/Latinx community at large.

Twitter uses were also quick to point out other offensive jokes made throughout the show, including one where Fielding asks, "So, is Mexico a real place?" to which Lucas replies, "I think so? I think it's like Xanadu."

"Like Oz?" Fielding replied.

Throughout the episode, there were also mispronunciations of famous dishes like guacamole, which one baker pronounced as "glocky-molo," while another pronounced pico de gallo as "pico-da-gallyo," which didn't sit well with some viewers.

Netflix, Channel 4 and Love Productions, which produces The Great British Baking Show, did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment's requests for comment.

Though the episode struck a nerve for many, there are some who say the commentary provides an opportunity to raise conversations about the importance of inclusion and representation.

Laura Martínez, a Mexico-born blogger and journalist living in New York City, tells Yahoo Entertainment that while she's not personally offended by the "Juan joke," the show's misstep is a stark reminder that Latinos are vastly underrepresented on a global scale.

"It's the oldest and most tired joke in the book. I find it plain dumb," she says. "The writers of this thing could use a team of good writers who can play with words. I'm sure they have those in the U.K. I was more offended as a funny person than as a Mexican!"

"It's a good thing everyone wants to try our food. It's a testament of how delicious it is even if they end up screwing it up," Martinez adds. "I honestly wouldn't expect Latino representation in a show about British cooking — the whole concept is just... bizarre — but they could have reached out to actual Mexican chefs in their country. They exist, believe me."

Susie Haslett, an immigration and asylum rights advocate, and a Mexican-American, says the show made her country the "butt of so many tasteless jokes," which can be "absolutely hurtful" to the community at large.

"In the same way that people — elected officials even — have been called out for wearing blackface, or wearing stereotypes of Native American clothing, it's confounding to me that we still have to have this conversation over and over again about why a sombrero, a sarape, and a mustache, are harmful to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans," Haslett tells Yahoo Life.

"What feels doubly heartless here, is the way the show opened up for this episode — the question they ask themselves is that people wouldn't like the jokes — and they doubled down anyway," she continued. "We need see no further than the video clips, the gifs, the memes to see what the 'creative' vision was. It was yet another lazy cliché that television and media use to dust off the shelves when they need to 'spice things up' for their ratings."