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Desi Arnaz Refused to Film This I Love Lucy Scene

Desi Arnaz gave it all during his performances on I Love Lucy. The seminal 1950s comedy sitcom was a passion project of both him and his partner Lucille Ball. The show was a massive success with audiences, and introduced many Americans to Desi’s unique Cuban heritage through his character’s music. Despite Desi’s dedication to I Love Lucy, there were some lines that he refused to cross on the show due to personal reasons relating to his own incredible and harrowing life story. Join Facts Verse as we explore the reason Desi Arnaz refused to film this I Love Lucy scene.

Desi Arnaz may have been proud of his Cuban heritage, but he also had a turbulent history with his home country. As a child, his family was forced to flee Cuba and take solace in America. His family put in hard work and was able to find success in America, leading to Desi having a very personal understanding of the American dream. These two distinct cultural halves combined in Desi, creating the unique and interesting multi-cultural personality that audiences grew to love through his appearances on television. Although Desi was proud to showcase his Cuban heritage on shows such as I Love Lucy, there were some lines he wasn’t willing to cross when it came to making fun of America. One such line was revealed when Desi was asked to film his character, Ricky Ricardo, doing something that Desi found disparaging to his own ideals about the American dream.

Desi was born on March 2, 1917, meaning he was only 16 when the 1933 Cuban Revolution changed the way of life for his family, as well as many other Cubans. Previously, Desi’s father had been the mayor of their hometown, Santiago de Cuba. For those unaware, Santiago de Cuba is the second-largest city in the entire country, meaning that Desi had been used to a life of relative privilege before the upheaval of the revolution. Amidst the revolution, Desi’s father was jailed, and the family’s property was confiscated. Eventually, the rest of Desi’s family was able to get his father released, and they immediately fled to Florida. The family made a home for themselves in Miami, and the rest is history.

Desi’s family was able to work their way up through the ranks in America the old-fashioned way, with little to show for their time of wealth and luxury in Cuba. His family’s work ethic instilled confidence in the young man, and he grew to have an incredibly strong respect for the opportunities granted to immigrants by the United States. According to Desi, the country offered families the singular freedom to pursue their dreams through hard work and perseverance. He grew to have a strong love of the American system from top to bottom, never taking for granted the opportunities provided to his family after their escape from Cuba.

Desi has shared that his family didn’t have a cent to their name when they crossed the borders over to America. According to him, they were forced to make a living cleaning canary cages early on, but their hard work eventually landed Desi the opportunity to become the man he is known as today. Desi worked his way up as an entertainer, eventually becoming a driving force behind the seminal 1950s sitcom I Love Lucy alongside his romantic partner Lucille Ball.

Desi and Lucille put there all into the show, portraying a married couple that often antagonized each other for comedic effect. The show birthed an incredible number of memorable comedic skits, from Lucy filming a medicine commercial to her attempts at filming a movie in Italy. Although Desi’s character, Ricky was the more successful entertainer in the household, Lucy’s character was always trying and failing to get known as an entertainer herself. Ricky was a successful musician running a show at a nightclub, and Lucy was always fruitlessly trying to convince her husband to give her a part in his show.

I Love Lucy broke new ground in many ways, introducing audiences to Desi’s unique Cuban heritage. However, there were some lines that Desi refused to cross on the program. Due to his incredible patriotism, there was one scene in an episode of the show’s third season that Desi flat-out refused to film. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support. As well, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way.

The episode of I Love Lucy that made Desi Arnaz have to put his foot down due to his passionate patriotism was called “Lucy Tells the Truth”. This was the sixth episode of the show’s third season. The episode called for Desi to film a sequence in which Ricky is shown cheating on his taxes. While the show’s writers didn’t put much thought into the gag, Desi had a whole different take on the subject matter.

According to Desi, part of what allowed for family to find the American dream were the taxes provided by workers like him. Desi was a proud taxpayer, and firmly believed in the practice. To him, the idea of cheating on your taxes was so reprehensible and unpatriotic that it couldn’t possibly be comedic. Although the writers were initially hesitant to give into Desi’s seemingly absurd demands, they eventually relented to his strong personal beliefs. Of course, the fact that he had already had two successful seasons of the show under his belt and had become a fairly big star by that time certainly didn’t hurt his ability to change the writers’ minds. The tax evasion scene was removed completely, and the episode focused on it’s main plot of Lucy attempting to pass a whole day without telling a single white lie to her husband.

Although Desi was certainly a proud patriot, he also had some darker aspects. Besides being on-screen partners, Desi and Lucille Ball were actually married for a period of time. While the two continued to hold a great deal of respect for each other after the marriage dissolved, Lucille has expressed that there were some troubling issues that arose during their marriage. Namely, in Desi’s tendency to be controlling over his new wife as soon as they tied the knot.

You see, American patriotism wasn’t the only value that was instilled in Desi’s head at a young age. He also had some more negative values, such as the perception that a man should always have the final say in a marriage. Because of this, Desi and Lucille often butted heads in their marriage, starting on the night of their wedding.

Lucille has recalled that Desi woke her up on the day of their wedding night and asked her to get him a glass of water. According to Lucille, she had already gone to the tap and filled a glass before she began asking herself what she was doing. From then on, she became increasingly weary of Desi’s strange impositions. Desi became increasingly controlling over Lucille over the course of the marriage, to the point where they were eventually divorced. However, the two remained close throughout the years and neither ever held a grudge against the other. The two had two children over the course of their marriage, and their names were Lucie and Desi. Lucie reunited her parents for one last reunion while her father was on his death bed.

Desi Arnaz died on December 2, 1986. At the time of his death, the entertainer was 69 years old. The cause of his death was lung cancer. According to doctors, a huge contributor to the cancer was Desi’s penchant for Cuban cigars that he had imported from his home country.

Desi’s health had been failing for a while at the time of his death, and Lucille had been watching her ex-husband’s struggles with great concern. Although Lucille had moved on and remarried, she still felt deeply for Desi and didn’t enjoy watching him suffer through his final years. Desi underwent multiple surgeries in the years leading up to his death before eventually succumbing. Soon before his time of death, he was able to pass on a few words of love to his ex-wife.

Two days before Desi’s death, he and Lucille had a phone conversation that was arranged by their daughter. The phone call also took place on the night of their wedding anniversary, November 30. The two professed their love for each other one final time, and Desi wished his ex-wife luck on an upcoming television appearance that she was scheduled to make. Eventually, the phone conversation ended. Two days later, Desi passed away. Lucille died a little under three years later, but their legacy continues to live on in the form of the work they left behind together.

Although Desi’s strong ideals often clashed with those around him, he was always loved and respected by those closest to him. The story of Desi’s family continues to stand as proof that anyone can make it in America, and his refusal to break his own patriotic beliefs during the production of I Love Lucy continues to stands as proof that you don’t have to compromise your beliefs to make it in show business.

Although we were deprived of the opportunity to see Ricky Ricardo commit tax evasion, there were still plenty of memorable moments created over the course of I Love Lucy’s six seasons. Comment down below to share your favorite Desi Arnaz moment from the beloved sitcom, or if you think that he had Lucille Ball should have tried harder to make their marriage work while they were still alive. As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when ore Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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