Entertainment

“Charmed” Just Announced Its First Transgender Character and Fans Are Excited

Credit: jjmohawk/Instagram;Benjo Arwas/Getty Images

The reboot of “Charmed” continues to make strides with representation on screen. The hit CW show which centers on three Latina witch sisters has consistently gone out of its way to showcase actors and characters of diverse backgrounds. And now, on the eve of Transgender Awareness week, the fantasy series is introducing its first transgender character.

According to Deadline, transgender actor J.J. Hawkins will be joining the series’ third season.

Hawkins will be playing a character named Kevin, a trans college student who “inspires one of the Charmed Ones to take on a very formidable opponent.” This casting announcement is significant because it shows that the “Charmed” team is taking calls for informed casting to heart. Not only is “Charmed” writing in a trans character, but the show took pains to hire a transgender actor as well–a casting choice that is, sadly, still rare in Hollywood.

In interviews, “Charmed” executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman (who also created “Jane the Virgin”), has talked about how important bringing diversity to the “Charmed” reboot is.

“We’ve had the chance to see three white witches [in the original],” Urman told a group of TV critics in 2018. “And obviously coming off ‘Jane,’ I know so much more about what it means to be on screen, to see yourself represented, to see yourself being the hero of the story.”

Urman also explained why the writers decided to make one of three sisters (Mel) queer as opposed to all three sisters being straight, like in the original series. “This should be a normal thing,” she said during the same discussion. “Just a relationship with two people loving each other.” It appears that the “Charmed” team is also taking the same approach with trans representation. Hopefully the writers will take steps to portray Hawkins’ character as a normal, well-rounded person with an interior life.

In the past, other Hollywood projects have come under scrutiny for casting cisgender actors to play trans characters.

The most famous example of this was when Scarlett Johansson announced that she would be playing a famous trans man named Dante “Tex” Gill in an upcoming biopic on Gill’s life. While Johansson experienced massive blowback for this, she initially doubled down on her decision before stepping back from the film. But still, Hollywood continues to make the same mistake.

Very recently, Halle Berry also made headlines when she told her Instagram followers she was researching an upcoming role where she would be playing a trans man. To make matters worse, Berry kept mis-gendering her character. Thankfully, Berry listened to both her fans and trans activists and withdrew from the role, saying “the transgender community should undeniably have the opportunity to tell their own stories.”

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HBO Is Rebooting ‘The Brothers García’, And the Original Cast Is Coming Back!

Entertainment

HBO Is Rebooting ‘The Brothers García’, And the Original Cast Is Coming Back!

Photo via vaneza/Instagram

If you were a Latino kid in the early 2000s, chances are you were a fan of “The Brothers García“. “The Brothers García” was a Nickelodeon show that ran for four seasons from 2000 to 2004.

The show centered on a middle-class Latino family living in San Antonio, Texas. It was one of the only shows on television that portrayed a normal, loving Latino family doing normal, everyday things.

Well, good news to “The Brothers García” fans! “The Brothers García” is coming back for a 10-episode run on HBO.

According to Variety, this “finds the Garcia children grown up and gathering with their parents for a three-month summer vacation in a luxury home by the beach.”

And the entire original cast is returning!

In a Zoom interview, series creator Jeff Valdez discussed how he approached the story back in the day. “The original show was always about a simple slice of life story that happened in this family,” Valdez said. “In every episode there’s a lesson to be learned. We wanted to keep that simple contract with our audience.”

To sweeten the pot even further, Valdez revealed that the reboot’s cast and crew will be 90% Latino. That is a jaw-dropping statistic for Hollywood.

The new series will also show the García siblings with “diverse families of their own, reflecting the increasingly multi-racial complexion of American families.”

Valdez says he pursued a reboot after a reunion photo of the original cast went viral in 2018. Understandably, the photo went viral. Valdez then realized how deeply the series had touched a generation of Latino viewers.

“I don’t think I fully grasped what we were accomplishing with the product we were putting out,” Jeffrey Licon, who played Carlos, said to Variety. “The response has always been overwhelming. People tell me it was their favorite show because they could identify it. I don’t think we realized how many people we were affecting.”

“The Brothers García” cast, for their part, seems to be very excited to reunite over 15 years after the series went off the air.

“I feel like I’m seeing my actual children again. It’s wonderful,” said actress Ada Maris, who played the mother, Sonia, on the original show. “I feel like I have the right to tell Bobby [Gonzalez] to cut his hair.” Bobby Gonzalez played the kid genius George García.

“I love getting to revisit a character and see where his life is now and the choices that led him here,” said Gonzalez. “I’m excited to have my family back and get a new daughter and wife.”

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After 17 Seasons “Grey’s Anatomy” Has Finally Cast Its First Indigenous Doctor

Entertainment

After 17 Seasons “Grey’s Anatomy” Has Finally Cast Its First Indigenous Doctor

Courtesy of ABC

Just when you thought “Grey’s Anatomy” had literally done every storyline in the book, they turn around and surprise you. And this time, “Grey”‘s is bringing some good news.

Now, in 2021, after 17 seasons, “Grey’s Anatomy” is finally featuring its first indigenous doctor, Dr. James Chee, played by actor Robert I Mesa.

Robert I Mesa is an actor of Navajo and Soboba descent. According to an online biography, Mesa is self-taught photographer, filmmaker and actor working in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Mesa took to Instagram to celebrate the good news about being the first indigenous doctor on “Grey’s”.

“I’m so excited and honored to be the first indigenous doctor on Grey’s Anatomy,” he wrote. “James Chee will be back on April 15, so be sure to tune in…Thank you so much To Grey’s Anatomy! I know this is going to mean so much to my indigenous peoples.” He ended the caption with “it’s a good day to be indigenous”

Although now Mesa is now on one of the biggest shows on TV, he is still a relative newcomer to showbiz and “Grey’s” will be his first major role after appearing on episode three of this season.

“Grey’s Anatomy” has always prided itself in hiring diverse actors to fill its cast.

In fact, when “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes first created the show in 20–, she instructed her casting director to bring in actors of all races to audition. “The script was written with no character descriptions, no clue as to what anyone should look like,” she told Oprah in 2006.

“We read every color actor for every single part. My goal was simply to cast the best actors. I was lucky because the network said, ‘Go for it.'”

Those directions led to one of the most culturally and racially diverse casts in TV history. And it also changed the television landscape forever.

“When they had me come in to read for the role of chief of surgery, I hadn’t seen an African American in that kind of role before,” James Pickens Jr, who plays Dr. Richard Webber, said to The Hollywood Reporter.

He continued: “Shonda always wanted to make sure that the show impacted the landscape in a way that we hadn’t seen before on TV. I like to think that Grey’s had a big part in how the industry casts shows.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” has paved the way for other racially-diverse Shondaland shows like “How to Get Away With Murder”, “Scandal”, “Station 19”, and most recently, “Bridgerton.”

We’re glad that an iconic television staple like “Grey’s Anatomy” is finally expanding its diverse cast to include its first indigenous doctor.

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