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


Films “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” both shattered myths about minority casts by breaking box office records. These successes have led to many people celebrating Hollywood’s perceived move to a more inclusive and diverse casting practice. The films broke stereotypes in Hollywood that diversity doesn’t sell and both already have sequels in the work. Yet, through all this barrier-breaking, one underrepresented group has been left out in the dark again: Latinos. Statistics show Latinos are the largest minority group in the country and account for the largest percent of moviegoers amongst minorities at 24 percent. When it comes to the big screen, Hispanic or Latino characters made up only 6.2 percent of speaking characters in the top 100 movies in 2017. But for Latinos that work in the film industry, this is just business as usual.

Hollywood is catching on to the idea that diversity will turn into dollars at the box office but will Latinos be included?

CREDIT: CREDIT: Motion Picture Association of America

Thomas Saenz, chair of the National Latino Media Council, has been fighting for Latino representation for more than 30 years, yet during that span he hasn’t seen enough change. His organization is part of a joint boycott with the National Hispanic Media Coalition that has chosen to spotlight Paramount as statistics show that the studio has the worst record when it comes to including Latinos in films. Saenz and Alex Nogales, president of the NHMC, led a protest of over 60 people in front of Paramount Studios on Aug. 25 in what is the start of a series of protests against the company.

“When studios focus on diversity that can mean any minority group. Latinos in particular have been represented in minuscule numbers that don’t properly show what this country is made up of,” Saenz says. “In the last 10-15 years, African-American representation has gone up same for Asian-American. But I can’t say the same for Latinos. That has to change.”

Paramount has yet to respond to the protest but when the boycott was announced back in August they felt the rights groups were being overly aggressive in their demands. Saenz responded to that by saying “it requires aggressive action on an issue that infringes on civil rights.”

Hollywood has a proven record of creating very few live-action movies focusing on Latino life and culture.

Marissa Herrera, CEO/Creator of De Mi Alma Productions and NHMC Action Network Member, has worked in the entertainment industry for two decades. She has seen firsthand how hard it is for Latinos to get major film roles.

“I’ve had a TV-pilot ready for six months but no company is willing to take a chance on it yet,” Herrera said. “We need dialogue and allies that can bring us a seat at the table.”

Herrera was part of the studio protest where she voiced her displeasure for the lack of Latino representation. She spoke about the struggle of being both a woman and a Latina in the film industry, which puts her at a worse disadvantage. In 2016, only 13 movie roles out of the top 100 grossing films went to Latinas and only 6 percent of TV roles on scripted television went to Latinos as a whole.

“They took a chance on those productions (“Black Panther,” “Crazy Rich Asians”) and we have yet to see that on our end,” Herrera said. “Those two films were given the opportunity and budget. We are the largest growing population yet still not fairly represented in film, all I ask is why are we not?”

The late ’80s and ’90s saw a slew of big production films with that centered or starred Latinos. What has changed since then?

CREDIT: CREDIT: Twitter/JLoeditsnews

“Stand and Deliver” (1988) and “Selena” (1997) were created during this brief time. Some call it the golden age of Latino-American film because studios began taking chances on films that depicted Latino history. By the end of the ’90s there was reluctance from studios to create political stories that dealt with issues such as immigration and discrimination. Herrera feels that it’s not necessarily movie studios going backwards today but them lumping “diversity” all into one category.

“A lot of the films in the ’90s were great but it was half in half. A lot of those roles were stereotyped. For example, since its an immigration story, it makes it a Latino story,” Herrera said. “I do think we are trying to find a sweet spot where we are portrayed not by what society wants us to be but who we are as a whole.”

What will it take for Hollywood to finally make some changes and show Latinos at the forefront of films?

CREDIT: Credit: Getty/Mark Ralston

For Saenz, he sees a few ways for Hollywood to start making some changes to the way they cast and choose which films they want to invest in. He says Latinos need their big moment now more than ever due to the hostile political climate that President Trump has fueled.

“I didn’t think that Donald Trump would get away his demonization of the Latino community but it’s hard to separate what happens in movies and what results in elections and policies going forward,” Saenz says.

Yet, Saenz sees changes coming and believes boycotts like this bring social awareness to a problem many people, including Latinos, don’t realize. The statistics for Latinos in popular films are a disheartening truth but that hasn’t wavered people like Saenz and Herrera who see a light coming soon.

“Money talks. Its important to not support these companies that are refusing to give opportunities, Herrera said. “We all just want to have a seat at the table and begin making real progress. This is our moment as Latinos to seize because if we don’t do it then who will.”

The NHMC and NLMC delivered a petition at during their last demonstration against Paramount Pictures on September 12.

READ: People Are Calling For A Boycott Of Paramount Studios Because Of Their Severe Lack Of Latino Representation

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Noah Centineo Is America's And Latino's New Heartthrob And Here's Why


Noah Centineo Is America’s And Latino’s New Heartthrob And Here’s Why

ncentineo / Instagram

Noah Centineo has been billed as America’s next up-and-coming A-list actor and he’s only 22 years old. You might recognize him as Latino heartthrobs in many TV shows and music videos, but we don’t want to spoil anything for you just yet.

For now, take a look at these smoldering pics of the goofy man version of Camila Cabello and ask yourself how to get in his personal space.

He’s totally 305-Til-I-Die.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

I mean, he hasn’t explicitly said it out loud, but we do know he was born and raised in Miami. If there is anything you should know about Miami is that people from Miami are so proud to be from Miami.

He went to BAK Middle School of the Arts.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Which is relevant if you, like me, pined for a spot at the too-cool-for-school escuela. All your friends who went to BAK had the most fun, spending their class time pirouetting, dropping a beat or becoming Noah Centineo.

His most memorable role was on Jennifer Lopez’s “The Fosters.”

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

He replaced Jake T. Austin in Season 3 as Mariana’s twin brother, Jesus. The two of them struggle with their Latino identities adopted into a non-Latino family as they navigate their relationships with their moms and birth parents.

\Him and co-star Cierra Ramirez are tight.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

While the series came to a close months ago, the two still go on so many hikes together and their sibling vibes IRL are the cutest. We’re screaming to see them act in their adult lives on “The Fosters” spinoff “Good Trouble.”

Centineo most recently rose to fame for Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

He plays Peter Kavinsky, a boy who accidentally received a love letter from Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor), who he kissed in spin the bottle in middle school. The movie plays like a modern day, non-white, “Sixteen Candles,.”

He caused a stir by posting a picture of their most intimate scene.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Spoiler alert: In the movie, a jealous Kavinsky ex posts a video of the two of them making out in the jacuzzi, sparking Lara Jean to freak about her “accidental sex tape” before she even ever had sex. What’s your game, Centineo?

A video was recently released of him saying some non-abuelita approved stuff.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Tbh, it is pretty out there and while we won’t tell you what he said, we can’t stop you from looking it up. It is very NSFW.

Some are speculating that Centineo and actress Lana Condor are dating IRL.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

There’s a scene where Lara Jean’s lock screen is shown to be the two of them asleep and cuddling. Prepare yourselves because that 👏🏾 was 👏🏾 real. 👏🏾 The actors were found cat-napping in a puddle of cuddles.

Apparently he’s a “natural flirt.”

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Director Susan Johnson told Entertainment Tonight that the scene where Peter puts his hand in Lara Jean’s back pocket and twirls her around was actually Noah twirling Lana around. He completely improvised it and Johnson changed the scene to make it happen. She even said, “He’s a natural flirt so he knew what he was doing.”

In a Netflix exclusive interview, Noah tested his pickup lines on Lana and she liked it.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Listen to this: “Do I know you? You look a lot like my next girlfriend.” Talk about smooth. Is there any question why he is becoming such a heartthrob?

Plus, he’s going around on Instagram calling her “the love of his life.”

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Who wouldn’t want to get that kind of reminder of love over and over again? Oh, and Lana has already confirmed the coupling. That makes all of those declarations of love so much more romantic and dreamboat-y.

Before he was heart eye’ing Lana, he had his eyes on Camila Cabello.

CREDIT: Camila Cabello / YouTube

Well, he played Cabello’s love interest in her music video for “Havana.” Apparently, he just got the call one day to show up later in the afternoon to her set and he screamed yes.

Did you know that Noah is a Disney boy?

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

He had minor roles on “Austin & Ally,” “Shake It Up,” and “Jessie.” He also played Jaden Stark in the Disney movie “How to Build a Better Boy.” You’ve aged well, amigo.

He was born on May 9, 1996, making him Taurus, but you know that.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Tauruses are known for being determined, witty, affectionate, gentle and brimming with self-confidence. If it looks like a Taurus and acts like a Taurus, he’s an ox.

Noah is exactly 6′ tall and that’s just fine.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

Some may call him the perfect man and that’s up to you to decide. He’s only 22 years old, making him prime for posters on every teenage boy and girl’s bedroom door.

When he was 16 years old, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

I mean, really solid decision there, Noah. He’s since been nominated for Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer TV Star: Male for his performance on “The Fosters.” Sadly, he didn’t win, but 2018 is looking pretty bright so far, no?

He calls Boca Raton, one of the places he grew up, “one of the top five most pretentious places on Earth.”

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

No offense to Boca Raton, Florida or anything but, okay. He did live there and it is clear he is not the pretentious type.

His dad used to be a pastor and is now an entrepreneur.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

His mama is a spin and yoga instructor, which explains the sweet, gooey soft side of Noah Centineo. And that father who’s a former pastor thing gives him that good boy gone bad vibe.

“Sierra Burgess Is a Loser” is out now starring Centineo in case you need more time with him.

CREDIT: @ncentineo / Instagram

The film is basically a modern version of the “Cyrano de Bergerac” story. Good work, Noah. We can’t wait to see where your career goes.

READ: One Member Of The Fab Five Is Cuban And We Can’t Get Enough Of Him

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