Entertainment

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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A New Princess Movie Is Getting A Remake: Camila Cabello Is Playing Cinderella In The 2021 Re-Imagining Of Disney’s Classic

Entertainment

A New Princess Movie Is Getting A Remake: Camila Cabello Is Playing Cinderella In The 2021 Re-Imagining Of Disney’s Classic

This year, two 90s classics were remastered and re-launched. The CGI version of The Lion King and the live-action of Aladdin sent movie theaters into a frenzy. And with the success they had in the box office, Disney has announced a few more classics to be retold in the coming years. With live-action remakes taking over the world, interest in all things Disney is skyrocketing. So Sony Studios is giving us a new Cinderella live-action with a modern touch that sounds fairly different from the last remake from 2015, which was firmly traditional and palatable.

Here’s what we know about the latest re-imagining of the classic fairytale set to premiere on February 5, 2021.

Sony’s 2021 Cinderella already has an all-star cast

credit Instagram @camila_cabello

Few details are known about the plot yet, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, “Sony is putting the project on the fast track for production,” so more details will likely be released soon. Unlike 2015’s Cinderella starring Lily James, this will not be a Disney production. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the remake will be produced James Corden, and that the Grammy-nominated Camilla Cabello has been cast to play the part of the rags-to-riches princess, Cinderella. The singer is also said to be heavily involved in the music for the film, she might even inject some of her son cubano into the kids’ classic, but either way, we’re in for a treat. 

“Playing Cinderella is, honestly, a dream for me,” Cabello told “Entertainment Tonight” in August. “It’s a little bit terrifying, but I’m so excited because anybody that knows me knows I’m obsessed with musicals.” “I’m really happy that we’re at a point now in a culture where ‘Aladdin’ or ‘The Little Mermaid’ … little girls can see themselves being represented,” the pop singer added. “I think that is so important, and it’s about time.” The 22-year-old (how is she only 22!) is also working on a new album, so she has a big year ahead. 

The voice behind Frozen princess Elsa, will play the evil step-mother.

Credit Instagram @Idinamenzel

Deadline reported earlier this month that Idina Menzel, is set to assume the role of Evelyn, Cinderella’s evil stepmother. Menzel voiced Elsa, the princess behind Frozen’s iconic viral song, ‘Let It Go‘. She is also a Tony and Grammy Award-winning actress who is a Broadway mainstay from shows like Rent and Wicked

Bibidi-Bobbidi-boo, we’re getting a fabulous fairy godmother!

Credit Instagram @theebillyporter

Sony’s upcoming rendition of the classic tale just got a lot more fabulous with the announcement of the new fairy godmother. Billy Porter confirmed his involvement with the film during a panel at the 20th New Yorker Festival. And if you’re anything like us, you have to agree that his theatricality both on and off-screen more than qualify him for the role. The actor shared his excitement via the New Yorker’s Instagram stories where he first broke the news. “I have a couple movies that I’m working on,” Billy said. “I’m gonna be playing the fairy godmother in the new Cinderella movie with Camila Cabello.” In September, Porter became the first openly gay black man to win the Emmy for best actor in a drama for his work on Pose. Prior to that, he earned a Tony and a Grammy for his role in Broadway’s Kinky Boots. 

The new imagining of the poor girl turned princess grew from an original idea by Carpool Karaoke’s James Corden.

Credit Instagram @thelateshow

The film is set to be a modern musical rendition of the classic, all-too-traditional fairytale. The idea for the new take on Cinderella grew from an original idea from James Corden, the late-night talk show host who has made major musical inroads thanks to his popular “Carpool Karaoke” segments. Corden is producing the project with Leo Pearlman, his partner at Fulwell 73, the production banner that has found success with documentaries such as The Class of ’92, the BAFTA-nominated Bros: After the Screaming Stops and Karaoke. The new rendition will be written and directed by Kay Cannon, who is known for her writing and producing work on the movie series Pitch Perfect and 30 Rock. Cannon got her start working on NBC’s 30 Rock, for which she earned three Emmy nominations. 

She made her directorial debut with Blockers, a female-centric losing-your-virginity comedy whose cast included Kathryn Newton and John Cena. 

All other plot details are being kept in a shoebox, but the story is described as a modern reimagining of the traditional tale of the orphaned girl with an evil stepmother, with a musical bent thrown in for good measure. Camila’s part in the movie would be her debut into film and we’re certain that it won’t be her last adventure in the silver screen. The new Cinderella film is just one of many Disney movies getting rebooted, and we can’t wait to see what this non-Disneyfied version has in store.

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

Entertainment

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

As the weather cools down and Halloween pops up on our calendars, there’s another holiday quickly approaching that deserves it’s own attention. Every October and November, people from Northern Mexico and around the world celebrate Día de los Muertos by building ofrendas to honor those who they have lost. Ofrendas are shrines set up with the photos of deceased loved ones along with personal items that they appreciated in life. Originating from the Aztecs, these shrines are meant to commemorate their dead loved ones and guide them home on the one day when their souls can journey from the spirit world to the world of the living. 

While ofrendas often honor deceased family members and friends, it’s not unusual to see alters also set up for famous people who have passed away. Fans build these shrines to celebrities in order to pay tribute to their legacy. These celebrity alters are usually as elaborate and amazing as the famous people they are meant to honor. 

Here are some of the remarkable celebrity ofrendas that prove that fame and the love of their fans are everlasting. 

1. Anything for Selenas.

Instagram / @sumnerboi

Selena is one of the most recognizable celebrities of the Latinidad so it makes sense that she’d have quite a few ofrendas built to remember her. San Antonio’s Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery is a Mexican restaurant that keeps this shrine of Selena up all year long to celebrate the Queen of Tejano. 

2. Dedicated to the icons of Mexico.

Instagram / @eltinterodemama

This colorful ofrenda is a reminder that these shrines can be for more than one person at a time. On this alter, Mexican pop culture is represented by superstar actress Maria Felix, comedian and TV star Chespirito (Roberto Gomez Bolanos) and artist Frida Kahlo. Offerings of fruit, food and alcohol adorn this ofrenda to tempt and delight the spirits of these deceased stars. 

3. A shrine fit for a food god.

Instagram / @hunger_street

Two years ago, the food world lost a huge star with the untimely death of Anthony Bourdain. The celebrity chef was known for traveling the world and learning about local customs and cuisine in such a respectful way that it endeared him to the communities that he visited. This earned him the spot of honor on this ofrenda. 

4. Frida’s ofrenda.

Instagram / @raul_krnx

Frida Kahlo is an artist who has only become more beloved in death. Her image is used in everything from jewelry and makeup to home goods and tee shirts. This shrine pays tribute to the legendary artista with pots of food, Mexican marigolds and skeletal attendants. 

5. An alter for Poet Paz.

Instagram / @lamovidapanama

Octavio Paz was a Nobel Prize-winning poet and one of the most influential voices in Mexican literature. His words have been a source of comfort and inspiration to millions of readers over the years. He was also a diplomat and fought against fascism in Mexico and abroad. All these accomplishments deserve to be remembered and Paz is honored in this papel picado-filled ofrenda. 

6. An offering to two legends.

Instagram / @melodysev

This past decade, we’ve lost some remarkable souls but none more beloved than music artists Prince and David Bowie. The Prince of Funk and Ziggy Stardust have millions of fans across the world and they are still remembered for being innovators and entertainers. This ofrenda in honor of the two was fittingly built at the Santa Barbara Bowl an amphitheater dedicated to great music.  

7. RIP Tony Stark.

Twitter / @mkhenderson428

Sometimes fictional characters touch us so much that they become real to us. So, when a character like this passes away, it’s only natural to honor them the way we would a real person. This Day of the Dead project was dedicated to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Gone but never forgotten. 

8. Dedicated to las mujeres.

Instagram / @ilaments

This ofrenda was built in tribute to powerful Latinas. Women like Celia Cruz, Jessica Torres, Margarita Neri, and Delores del Río are immortalized among other great women who will always have a special place in history and in the hearts of their fans.

9. An icon from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

Instagram / @chableresort

Besides ofrendas, grave sites are also decorated as alters for Día de los Muertos. One of the biggest actors of Mexico’s Golden Age of cinema, Pedro Infante is buried in the Yucatan. For the Day of the Dead, his grave site was adorned with Mexican marigolds and candles to guide his spirit back to the world of the living. 

10. The King has entered the building.

Instagram / @beijingemily

One of the most legendary celebrities to have ever lived is Elvis Presley and the man has become a bigger icon in death. There are still claims of Elvis sightings all over the world. Maybe, those fans are just seeing Elvis’ spirit as he returns to visit the thousands of shrines that are dedicated to him for Día de Los Muertos and year-round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4TnFSXDWaM