Mamacita Left Joan Crawford On 'Feud,' Solidifying Her Feminist Status
Since the first episode of Feud — and clearly, long before the events of Feud took place — Joan Crawford has been incredibly close and quite dependent on her maid. Beyond the fact that the actress has been using a Spanish word to describe the German woman, the relationship between Crawford and her maid Mamacita in Feud is confusing enough. If you had been wondering why Mamacita tolerated Crawford's behavior for so long, then you may celebrated when Mamacita stood up for herself and left Crawford during the April 16 episode — appropriately titled, "Abandoned!" Although you may have still felt empathy toward Crawford, it was clear that Mamacita needed to leave the toxic relationship for her own good and to uphold her own values.
After Jessica Lange's drunken Crawford threw a vase of flowers at Mamacita during the April 9 episode "Hagsploitation," Mamacita had warned Crawford that, "The next time you throw something at my head, I'll leave you. Then you will have nothing!" She made good on that promise in "Abandoned!," when — yet again — Crawford hurled a vase of flowers at Mamacita after Olivia de Havilland had been cast in her part in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Mamacita grabbed her bag and left a distraught Crawford with the type of stone cold badassery that fans of Feud have come to expect of the German maid at this point.
Back in Episode 4, Mamacita proved herself to be a feminist ahead of her time as she tried to help Pauline Jameson get her script to Crawford. So it was a bit of a conundrum seeing Mamacita be so fully aware of the type of respect that women deserved, but then not demand the same for herself when it came to Crawford. Yet, their dynamic was more profound than a traditional employer-employee and it seemed that Mamacita was sympathetic to Crawford's struggles since Hollywood had rebuffed her in her later years.
As shown in Feud, Mamacita was much more than a maid to Crawford (think Bachelor star Corinne's nanny Raquel) and in an interview with USA Today, Mamacita actress Jackie Hoffman described her character as a "cleaning woman, friend, husband, father, and mother" to Crawford. And in an interview with Bustle, Hoffman described their volatile relationship as, "[Mamacita and Crawford] were either lovebuddies or all the sudden she may throw sh*t and be incredibly cruel ... I can't say if [Crawford] was a total horrifying c*nt, but she certainly wasn't an angel."
As for the real life Crawford and Mamacita, not too much is known about the German maid — although she certainly did exist. Vanity Fair provided the account of how the real Crawford started calling Mamacita by that name because the actress couldn't remember the maid's name on her first day of work and Crawford had just been traveling in Brazil. According to Crawford's 1971 book, My Way of Life, "The name has stuck ever since."
That quote from 1971 also is an indication that Mamacita didn't really leave Crawford in 1964 like she did in Feud. The Daily Mail confirms that assumption by reporting that Crawford hired Anna Marie Brinke in 1960 and she worked for the actress for 14 years until she returned to Germany.
Just like with other details of Feud, it appears that Mamacita's presence in Crawford's life was embellished to add a feminist edge. That meant for the Feud version of Mamacita to make sense, she couldn't continue to tolerate Crawford's drunken abuse and stand by while Crawford self-sabotaged her career. Although Mamacita was devoted to Crawford in Feud and was angry at the way Hollywood had treated her employer, the feminist Mamacita that Feud presents could no longer be an enabler to Crawford's behavior. After all, there's only so many times you can advocate for someone else before you realize you need to be advocating for yourself first and foremost.