Culture

Once Again, A Study Shows Latinos Continue To Lack Representation In Hollywood

Representation is a loaded word when it comes to conversations about diversity in casting, especially when it comes Latinos. The latest study from UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report 2018″, shows the huge disparity Latinos experience when it comes to roles behind and in front of the camera. What makes matters even more frustrating is the reports evidence shows audiences tend to prefer movies and TV shows that feature diverse casts. So what gives and what has to change? Here’s a look at the evidence on why Latinos are being left out of the conversation when it comes to representation.

This year, the Oscars showcased the best of what a prospering film industry that includes Latinos could be, or did it?

UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report 2019” 

The feel-good story of this past awards season was Alfonso Cuaróns’ Oscar-winning film “Roma.” The movie centered on a housekeeper of a middle-class family in Mexico City. Despite high praise, the film received and Cuarón becoming the fifth Mexican in the last six years to win Best Director, the reality for U.S.-born Latinos in Hollywood hasn’t changed.

Latinos account for the largest percent of moviegoers among minorities at 24 percent. Yet when it comes to getting roles, that’s a whole different story. In 2017, Latinos accounted for only 5.2 percent of all roles in the top grossing films. This was hardly an improvement from the previous year which was at 2.7 percent.

When it comes to getting roles on TV shows, it’s the same trend. Latinos accounted for no more than 7 percent of all TV roles when it came to the top shows on broadcast, cable and digital networks.

For those in the industry already, making changes is harder than it looks.

Credit: @StripeyWorm/Twitter

Even when Latino-centered shows like “One Day At A Time” receive critical acclaim, that is rarely enough. This past month news broke that the show has been canceled by Netflix. Despite high praise from critics and fans, the series still has to prove itself.

“We are one of the fastest growing minority groups in country and we are still fighting for our films and scripts to be shown to the world,” independent filmmaker Kenneth Castillo said. “That’s not right.”

Castillo says what’s going on with “One Day At A Time” is an unfortunate thing that proves how even when Latinos create great content, at times it’s still not good enough. “I’ve seen this happen time and time again in Hollywood and we need to have some meaningful dialogue about where as Latinos we stand.”

If Latinos are going to see real progress when it comes to representation, they can’t wait for Hollywood to do it first.

Credit: Reuters/Twitter

There’s no denying that we are entering a new golden age in Mexican cinema with the continued success of Latino directors like Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo Del Toro. But it’s a different story when it comes to U.S.-born Latino directors and actors.

There have been just a handful of U.S.-born directors and actors to break into mainstream success. Statistics also show studios take less chances on Latino-focused films and shows.

Representation is important when it comes to how one sees themselves and how the world perceives them as. As the largest growing minority group in the U.S., Latinos should be near the top of most film studios and getting major roles. But that’s anything but the truth. So this all begs the question, where and how do we see change?

If Latinos are going to see make any progress when it comes to more representation, they’re going to have to do it themselves. Castillo says that Latinos can’t wait for Hollywood to open the gate for more opportunities.

“We have to create our own stories and narratives in this country,” Castillo said. “Grab a camera, write that script and share your own story that Hollywood will never get to tell.”

READ: Latinos Are Still Waiting For Their Own Movie Moment As Hollywood Tries Casting More Diverse Films

Naomi Campbell And Other Fashion Authorities Slam ELLE Germany For Their Offensive ‘Black Is Back’ Cover Story

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Naomi Campbell And Other Fashion Authorities Slam ELLE Germany For Their Offensive ‘Black Is Back’ Cover Story

naomi / Instagram

Instagram account Diet Prada has become somewhat of an authority in fashion when it comes to holding brands, designers, magazines, and editors accountable for their work —they’ve turned into the industry’s ‘Fashion Police’ if you will. Whether they’re calling out retail giants for plagiarism or spilling the tea on celebs’ copy-cat lewks, Diet Prada has gained notoriety and sparked a lot of controversy in Fashion. Well this week, the famous Instagram page put Elle Germany on the spot for their failed, deeply offensive attempt to highlight ethnic diversity. And the attempt was truly baffling.

Diet Prada has become known for calling out fashion’s biggest mishaps —and this one is definitely making it to the top 5. 

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☕️🐸 #blackisback

A post shared by Janaye (@iam_janaye) on

Whether it’s spilling the tea on trivial fashion matters or calling out Dolce & Gabbana for their distasteful chopsticks ad last year, Diet Prada never shies away from shining a light on the inner workings and missteps of the industry. This week, the infamous DP called out ELLE Germany for a problematic fashion feature that ran in the magazine’s November 2019 issue —and as the model Janaye Furman posted on her IG, the tea is boiling.

ELLE Germany’s November issue ran the coverline ‘Black is back’, as if being black is a trend that circles in and out of fashion. 

credit Instagram @diet_prada

DP posted a photo of ELLE Germany to its Instagram page, highlighting a feature titled “Black Is Back.” The phrase seems to be the running theme of the entire issue, mostly referring to the color in terms of clothing, but clearly the editors of Elle Germany decided they’d just fold some human beings into the trend. 

The magazine highlighted 6 models of color with the title ‘Black is Back’ -like the color of a human being’s skin could be a trend.

credit Instagram @diet_prada

The article spotlights six prominent models of color with the caption, “Super, Girls!” Diet Prada wrote, “Not a good look, @ellegermany. […] Ironic when they, along with much of the fashion industry, have been complicit in denying visibility to black models until relatively recently.” 

The magazine couldn’t even keep those human beings straight, the story misidentified one black woman for another.

credit Instagram @diet_prada

And it doesn’t end there, in addition to the article’s insensitive title. ELLE Germany also misidentified one of the models with another woman of color —SMDH. Diet Prada showed that a photo of Naomi Chin Wing was used in model Janaye Furman’s spot. As if “Black Is Back” wasn’t bad enough, the publication somehow confused one black woman for another.

Prominent fashion editors of color weighed in on the matter by sharing their thoughts on Instagram.

credit Instagram @gabriellak_j

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, fashion director at Garage magazine, also took to Instagram to weigh in on the situation, saying, “So, this means that no fewer than four people read the name Janaye Furman, and saw a picture of Naomi Chin Wing and not one spotted the error…those editors responsible for this story do not care enough about it to give it the same attention they would give any other story in the magazine. Or, those editors responsible of this story cannot tell the difference between two black models.”

 “I am horrified, but I am not surprised,” Gabriella added.

credit Instagram @gabriellak_j

The fashion editor even went as far as to explain the editorial process from pitch to print, and the many opportunities the publication had to fix the mistake. Many Instagram users jumped into the comments section in shock, including some notable celebrities and fashion authorities. Model Maya Stepper commented, on Diet Prada’s post; “this is sad,” while the iconic fashion blogger BryanBoy added, “Good intention but poor execution”; creator Donte Colley wrote, “what the actual f*ck…”

The iconic Supermodel Naomi Campbell also joined in on the campaign against ELLE Germany.

In an Instagram post, supermodel Naomi Campbell shared her own thoughts on the issue at hand: “This makes me so sad to see this…your mistake[,] it is highly insulting in every way.” She continued, “I’ve said countless of times[,] we are not a TREND. We are here to STAY. It’s OK to celebrate models of color[,] but please do it in an ELEGANT and RESPECTFUL way.”

Naomi made a point to express her willingness to sit down and talk if people are not “clear on the guidelines of diversity” and that misidentifying a black model is “disappointing.” She finished off her post by saying, “It’s very important for a publication to be culturally sensitive and give credit where it’s due. We all need to unite on this matter.”

“The issue, titled ‘Back to Black,’ also features a white model on the cover. You can’t make this stuff up!” said Diet Prada.

credit Instagram @diet_prada

But hold on, there’s more! To make things even worse, the issue features a thin, white model on the cover —as is pretty much always the case with Elle Germany, a magazine that clearly has no interest in hiring black models and only features them in its pages when it fits a trend. 

Elle Germany Editor-In-Chief shared a weak apology statement on the matter.

credit Instagram @ellegermany

In response to Diet Prada’s post, ELLE Germany editor in chief Sabine Nedelchev shared a statement on Instagram saying: “In our current issue we approach the colour black from different angles. One of our focuses was to feature strong black women who work as fashion models. In doing so, we were guilty of several errors for which we sincerely apologize.”

“It was wrong to use the cover line ‘Back to black’ which could be misconstrued to mean that black individuals are some sort of fashion trend,” the statement continued. “This obviously was not our intention and we regret not being more sensitive to the possible misinterpretations. Misidentifying the model Naomi Chin Wing as Janaye Furman is a further error for which we apologize. We are aware of how problematic this is. This has definitely been a learning experience for us and, again, we deeply regret any harm or hurt we have unwittingly caused.”

The tone-deaf issue is another case of the how-did-multiple-people-see-this-and-think-it-was-ok mystery for the books. And another step backward for genuine inclusivity in the fashion industry. We can’t help but wonder if this would’ve happened had the publication actually put their money where their mouth is and employed people of color to begin with. How’s that for real inclusivity?

This Twitter User Made $1000 On A Petty Tweet That Became A Business Venture

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This Twitter User Made $1000 On A Petty Tweet That Became A Business Venture

@isaiahgarnicia/ Instagram

Romance can be a rewarding experience if you happen to be lucky in love. Unfortunately, not all of us are so favored to journey through love without heartbreak. In a time when social media is the biggest way we communicate with the world, sites like Instagram and Twitter can provide bittersweet reminders of our romantic mishaps. Seeing happy reminders of the person who broke your heart is especially brutal. The only thing worse than stumbling on an ex’s selfie is the discovery that they have blocked you all together. 

It’s with this in mind, that one enterprising Latino Twitter user turned a tweet with a petty joke into a money-making scheme that is helping the lovelorn.

Twitter / @IsaiahGarnica

Isaiah Garnica, a Los Angeles-based songwriter, tweeted the business proposition from his personal Twitter account last week. For $5, Garnica offers to comment “yikes” under the selfies of his patrons’ exs. Within days, the tweet went viral; being retweeted 36K times and with over 186K likes.

The songwriter told Buzzfeed News that the inspiration for the tweet came from an incident at a songwriting session in West Hollywood.

“I dropped my phone from a roof and I was like, yikes. I have to replace it now. So, I’m scrolling Twitter on my laptop (yikes) and saw someone was selling feet pics. Which is honestly…not that uncommon. Millennials and Gen Z are kinky AF. I was like, well, I’m not gonna do that, but I WILL slap a yikes on your ex’s photo. For $5.”

What started more or less as a joke got lots of attention and the requests for Garnica’s service started rolling in.

Twitter / @IsaiahGarnica

According to Buzzfeed News, Garnica received so many requests that he had to set up a few guidelines for his new service. He asked for patrons to specify which selfie he should comment on. If none was chosen, he would just comment on the most recent one. For the few cases who didn’t have selfies on their account, Garnica explained that he would comment on whichever picture ” they seem too pleased with themselves.” He also offered to comment “eek” under selfies for a discount of $3.

The response was so incredible that Garnica told Buzzfeed News that he had more than 200 requests. That means that the songwriter was able to collect over $1000 on his petty venture.

Such a large response to his tweet came with tons of comments ⁠— both for and against the money making opportunity.

Twitter / @ChristineFox

With side hustles being a necessary way for Millennials and Gen Z to make money in our gig economy, many tweets had to give it up to Garnica and his ingenious grind. There are many more dangerous or illegal ways that people are forced to take part in to make money so we have to applaud his creativity. He saw a niche and he filled it and that’s the kind of capitalism we can get behind. 

Some Twitter users saw it as a waste of time to worry over someone who is an ex for obvious reasons. 

Twitter / @mo_lee_kuh

This Twitter user accused Garnica’s patrons of being “petty females” and suggested they “get over it.” For some, a break up isn’t so easy to put behind them and Garnica’s service offers some final closure for those people. It’s easy to call this behavior petty but it serves a purpose in a harmless way. Perhaps this Twitter user is just upset they didn’t think of this business plan first. We know we’re a little jealous over it. 

For those who are calling Garnica’s service “bullying,” the songwriter had a valid defense of his patrons’ requests.

Twitter / @IsaiahGarnica

A few have accused his service of being mean spirited but the Latino explained to Buzzfeed News that this was never the intention of his tweet.

“Some say it’s a bully service, but it’s really not. What I offer is closure,” Garnica added. “Especially when one is blocked. The yikes is sort of minuscule compared to the broken heart that is putting in the request when you think about it. They can delete the yikes. A broken heart — not so much.”

Garnica also shared with Buzzfeed News that he has had requests to comment, shame or insult these exes beyond “yikes” but he refuses these inquiries. His reasoning, “I believe in karma. This might be theirs.”

We can’t argue with that rational and have to applaud Garnica for his micro hustle. Whether you support his services or not, he explained to Buzzfeed News, “As long as the ticker on that tweet is ticking, I am making money.” We respect the hustle.