Entertainment

Is Jennifer Lopez Really The Only Latina To Be Featured On Screen In The The Past Few Years?

You would think since Latinos have one of the highest moviegoing rates in the United States, we’d see more of our lives and communities reflected on Hollywood’s big screen. However, that’s far from being the case. According to a report released last year by the Motion Picture Association of America, Hispanic-Latino filmgoers went to the movies an average of 4.5 times in 2017. 

Even then, a new study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that was published this week, shows that Latinx representation in film is significantly lagging. 

There’s something inherently wrong when the Latinx community, who represents 18% of the total U.S. population and 24% of frequent moviegoers, is nearly shut out from the big screen.

In partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released the report, titled Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies. The report looked at the 1,200 top titles at the box office from 2007 to 2018 as well as about 47,268 Spanish speaking or named characters. 

One of the report’s biggest findings, however, was that within that time frame, only two Latina lead roles were played by an actor over 45. Both were the multi-hyphenate Jennifer Lopez, and with her upcoming role in Hustlers, she’ll be breaking her own record. 

While the study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative mainly focuses on the state of Latinx representation in the past decade of Latinos working on screen and behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors, it also focuses on how underrepresentation and stereotyping “are the hallmarks of Latino portrayers in popular movies.” 

(Photo Credit: NALIP/USC Annenberg/Wise Entertainment)

The study found that in the 12 year research period, 4.5% of all speaking or named characters were Latino, but only 3% were leads or co-leads. More findings included that in the films that were studied, 4% had a Latino director and most of those filmmakers (71% to be exact) were from outside of the U.S. And that’s not the shocking part. Out of 1,335 directors, only one of those was a Latina woman. Among producers, only 3% were Latino. 

Latinx filmmakers, creators, and actors took to Twitter to express their frustrations over the findings of the study.

One Day At A Time co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett called upon Hollywood to increase the inclusion of the Latinx community by “demanding a 20% increase in representation both in front and behind the camera.” 

A Twitter user replied to the One Day at A Time co-showrunner and shared how joyous she feels when she sees Latinx folks credited in the acting and also production roles.

The Twitter user also added that we need more stories from more than one Latinx point of view as well and that “casting needs to diversify as well, since we come in all shades, hair textures, etc.” 

Actor, producer, and director Eva Longoria also took to her Instagram to comment on the story, she said: “Only 1 Latina directed a top film over 12 years & 1,200 movies. Studios, why are you erasing Latinas?”

In her caption, she also noted that Latinas are leading as grassroots organizations in many different fields but even then, Hollywood fails to notice their talent and potential. 

Latinx Actress Dani Fernandez brought up another important point that we fail to outwardly discuss and that’s agents and acting coaches allegedly telling white actors to change their last name to a Latinx sounding one. 

Twitter user Benita Robledo replied to Fernandez’s tweet and recalled a time when someone she knew told her they’d been thinking of changing their name because being “Latina is so so big rn.” 

Film critic Alonso Duralde further drove the point home about Latinx people playing a huge part of the moviegoing demo, yet still continued to be overlooked by Hollywood. 

“But studios insist on leaving this particular money on the table,” he added. 

Superstore actor America Ferrera also took to Instagram to express her thoughts on the study and its findings. 

“It’s easier to accept the mistreatment and dehumanization of Latinx people when they are invisible in our culture,” Ferrera wrote in her caption. Like Longoria, Ferrera demand that Hollywood take responsibility for the “stories you reinforce & perpetuate.” 

We hope this report shakes things up and causes Hollywood to really look closely at how it not only portrays but also casts Latinx actors, directors, and producers in the future. 

Of the report’s findings, Dr. Stacy L. Smith said in a statement that “at a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety, we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment.” 

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Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Entertainment

Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Rich Fury / Getty

After months of delays and waiting, Disney has announced that Mulan fans will no longer have to wait for a major theatrical release to see the live-action version of the animated classic. On Tuesday the Walt Disney Company revealed that the film will no longer seek a major theatrical release and that the blockbuster’s debut will take place on the subscription streaming service, Disney+.

To see the movie, customers will need to pay an additional $29.99 on top of the cost of the monthly subscription for Disney+

“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained in a statement according to Variety. “We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters.”

The company has said that it plans to release Mulan in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not available to audiences.

According to Variety, “The decision to put Mulan on premium video-on-demand further emphasizes the studio’s increased reliance on Disney Plus at a time when most of their business — from theme parks and cruises to movie theaters and retail stores — have been crippled by the pandemic. Research, Chapek says, suggests that bringing a high-profile release like Mulan to homes “will act as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus.”

Mulan had been originally scheduled for a theatrical debut on March 27 and was meant to be Disney’s biggest theatrical release for the year.

Disney shelled out a $200 million budget and in early March the studio set up a lavish red carpet premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Days later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone the movie’s release. The movie’s debut was then pushed back several times before Disney announced last week that they would indefinitely remove it from the release calendar. Fortunately, they’ve changed their mind and Mulan will debut on the streamer’s new platform on September 4, 2020.

Disney’s latest version of Mulan stars actress Yifei Liu as the titular character based on the legend of a female Chinese warrior who disguises herself and takes her father’s place as a soldier.

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Emmy Nominations Snub Latino Actors Again Despite Great Roles This Year

Entertainment

Emmy Nominations Snub Latino Actors Again Despite Great Roles This Year

Rachel Luna / Getty Images

Once again, the Emmy nominations have overlooked the Latino roles that made the years memorable. From Rita Moreno to Mj Rodriguez, there were roles the covered a lot of Latino culture, and yet there was no mention from the Emmys.

The Emmy nominations are out and it is another slap in the face to the Latino community.

Latino representation in Hollywood has been a major issue for decades. Recently, there has been more and more pressure to equalize the representation of media to better reflect society. However, the Emmys still don’t get it. Instead, the only Latino recognized by the Emmys is Alexis Bledel as a Guest Actress in a Drama for “A Handmaid’s Tale.”

However, the J.Lo/Shakira halftime show was nominated for four awards.

The halftime show made history with at least 1,300 calls to the FCC complaining of the perceived overly sexualized nature of the show. Now, the performance is nominated for outstanding variety special (live), outstanding directing for a variety special, outstanding lighting design/direction for a variety special and outstanding music direction.

Yet, in the time of “One Day at a Time,” “Vida,” “Gentefied,” and “Pose” how did this happen?

There are so many shows highlighting the evergrowing representation of the complete Latino experience. There are obviously so much more to cover and bring to light, yet with the massive successes of the Latino-led shows right now, many are disappointed in the Emmys clear lack of representation.

“But not Rita Moreno, who has been killing it on One Day at a Time for four seasons. Not Laura Gómez, whose performance in Orange Is the New Black’s excellent final season was alternatively haunting and inspiring — and as timely as it gets,” Laura Bradley wrote for the Daily Beast about Bledel being the lone Latino acting nomination. “Not Melissa Barrera or Mishel Prada of Vida, a series that pushed past stereotypical Latinx stories to discuss deeper, more nuanced issues that pervade our community before it was canceled too soon.”

It is a frustrating reminder to the Latino community that so much work still needs to be done.

Latinos today have shows that they can point to as showing their experience. We have characters and actors we cling to because of their representation. The shows are also successful. “One Day at a Time,” for example, was removed for Netflix and a global effort started to save the show. Twitter was buzzing with people across the globe trying to get Netflix to reverse course on the sudden and devastating cancelation. Fortunately, Pop TV come through and saved the beloved show to keep bring us stories from the Alvarez family.

The Latino community deserves better and we need to keep making noise.

Latinos are a diverse and growing community in the U.S. We have stories that still need to be told and we have stories that are being told. They are being told with authenticity and passion. The lack of Latino representation at the Emmys is something that we are all very aware of. It is necessary to make sure that we all have a seat at the table.

Basically, it is time for the Emmys to do better.

Latino roles are out there and thriving. It is long past time for them to get the recognition they deserve.

READ: Indya Moore Told Reporters On The Red Carpet That They Do Not Identify As Latina And Here’s Why

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