Who knew the history of a snack could be so spicy?
Though the teaser paints “Flamin’ Hot” as a rags-to-riches immigrant story, the truth might be a bit less savory.
Montañez has long claimed he cooked up the idea for the chips after thinking about Latino tastes while working the floor of Frito-Lay’s Rancho Cucamonga plant. After taking his idea to top executives, he says he quickly became a corporate power player.
Capitalizing on his lore, the Mexico-born businessman wrote the 2021 memoir “Flamin’ Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man’s Rise from Janitor to Top Executive” and is a regular on the corporate event speech circuit.
But Frito-Lay disputed Montañez’s account in a 2021 Los Angeles Times investigation, saying that while they “celebrate” Montañez’s contributions to the company, “the facts do not support the urban legend.”
“None of our records show that Richard was involved in any capacity in the Flamin’ Hot test market,” Frito-Lay wrote in a statement to The Los Angeles Times at the time.
“We never set out to tell the history of the Cheeto,” she told People magazine. “We are telling Richard Montañez’s story and we’re telling his truth.”
“Flamin’ Hot” comes out on Hulu on June 9. Hollywood writers are currently on strike over pay and working conditions.