Entertainment

Guillermo Del Toro Just Got A Star On The Walk Of Fame And It’s What He Said In His Acceptance Speech That Made Mexico Proud

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It’s easy to tell this story in one sentence: August 6 saw legendary Latino director Guillermo del Toro awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But, there’s so much more to this story than meets the eye. We did a deep dive to flesh out the man, the myth, and the legend that is Guillermo del Toro, and what got him to that point a few days ago, where he gave an iconic acceptance speech to a crowd of supporters.

The man.

Credit: caavuniversidad/ Instagram

To start with: just who is this guy? October 9, 1964 saw Guillermo del Toro Gómez born in Guadalajara, Jelisco, Mexico. He clearly knew what he wanted to do with his life from a young age – when del Toro was eight years old he began tinkering with his father’s Super 8 camera, making short films featuring the murders of his mother and brothers, among other things. The years passed, and he eventually studied special effects and makeup under the tutelage of special-effects artist, Dick Smith.

Most likely these experiences influenced Guillermo del Toro’s interest in depicting horror and fantasy scenes in his work. And what is his work, you ask? Well, if you’ve been living under a rock you probably haven’t heard of films the likes of The Shape of WaterPacific RimPan’s LabrynthHellboy, or the Blade franchise. Okay but seriously, you should have heard of at least one of these movies, people.

The myth.

Instagram / @jocardiz

Okay, it’s a bit of an exaggeration to use the term “myth”, but suffice to say that del Toro is one hell of a storyteller and just generally a massive contributor to the industry – after all, that’s what got him the star on Hollywood Boulevard. To put it in perspective, each year there are approximately 200 nominations submitted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame selection committee. In order to even be considered, nominees must have a minimum of five years experience in their industry, in addition to having a history of “charitable contributions.” In the end, only 20 to 24 people are actually awarded a star. If there’s anything that says Guillermo del Toro’s officially arrived, it’s his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Many took to social media to highlight just how much del Toro truly deserved this recognition.

Twitter / @donwinslow

So what did Mr. del Toro do when giving his acceptance speech last Tuesday? He began with a simple “gracias”, and then commended another “great Mexican filmmaker, Issa López” for her talents. From the outset of his speech, del Toro foregrounded his Hispanic background, and showed support for his contemporaries. “I am Mexican … and I am an immigrant,” he said shortly afterwards. “Right now, we are in a moment of great fear … and great division. That’s why fear is used. It’s used to divide us. It’s used to tell us that we’re all different and we shouldn’t trust each other. And these lies make us easier to control, and make it easier to hate each other. But the antidote to that is to come together.” 

The legend.

Twitter / @devintait

“As a Mexican, receiving this star is a gesture and no gesture right now can be banal or simple.” del Toro continued. “This is very important this is happening right now because I can tell to all of you, all immigrants from every nation, that you should believe in the possibilities and not the obstacles. Do not believe the lies they tell about us. Believe in the stories you have inside and believe that we all can make a difference and we all have stories to tell and we all can contribute to the art and the craft and the world in any way we see fit.”

Most were so happy to see him represent his Mexicanidad as he accepted his star on the Walk of Fame.

Twitter / @filming4change

And there you have it. What’s made Guillermo del Toro so legendary is not just his work, but his awareness around the power and influence of the media we consume – especially in an era where white supremacism has snaked its way into the community, and into politics. He knew that his award was not just for himself, but for the immigrant, Hispanic community. After all, representation matters! It shows people of color that they too are deserving of success and having their stories told. And it also reminds the wider community about the great contributions people of color and immigrants still do make in today’s America.

The Internet Is Cheering This Former Bus Boy Who Is Now Running His Own Sushi Restaurant

Things That Matter

The Internet Is Cheering This Former Bus Boy Who Is Now Running His Own Sushi Restaurant

mariscosysushitomateros / Instagram

For almost 15 years, Edgar Baca worked as a busser at Nobu Malibu, a high-end Japanese restaurant established by chef Nobu Matsuhisa, until he was finally able to open his own restaurant ⁠— Mariscos y Sushi Los Tomateros

Baca delivers high-quality seafood, making this a great spot for those who want to indulge in delicious sushi or Sinaloan mariscos.

Credit: Yelp.com

Baca worked in the same position as a busser for nearly 15 years, hoping to see the day when he would be able to open his restaurant. Those years gave him the necessary skills to create exquisite dishes that are satisfying, visually appetizing and most importantly – affordable. 

Inspired from the innovative cuisine at Nobu, Baca creates creative sushi dishes with a Mexican twist.

Credit: mariscosysushitomateros / Instagram

For example, the Guamuchilito roll that is stuffed with seafood and topped with avocado and tampico sauce is named after a town in Culiacán, Mexico. Another roll they have is the strawberry roll that has shrimp tempura, cucumber, strawberries, and tamarindo sauce. However, sushi isn’t the only item served at this restaurant. The menu at Los Tomateros also consists of traditional Mexican dishes, such as ceviche, tacos, molcajete, aguachile and so much more. 

As an immigrant from Culiacán, Baca pays homage to his hometown with his restaurant and food, dropping little hints of his home throughout.

For example, the logo of Los Tomateros is a tomato with chopsticks, as the tomato is a prominent vegetable grown in Sinaloa. Los Tomateros is also the name of a popular baseball team in Culiacán. Baca is proud to show off his roots and is unafraid to experiment with traditional and well-known recipes to create the items on his menu.  

Baca is also cooking for people like him as the average meal at Nobu costs about $30-$60.

Credit: Yelp.com

Although the menu at Mariscos y Sushi Los Tomateros doesn’t consist of Rosemary Panko Crusted New Zealand Lamb Chop’s or Scallop Truffle Chips, Los Tomateros brings a little taste of Sinaloa to Los Angeles.

However, Baca does carry Yellowtail Yusu in his restaurant.

Credit: mariscosysushitomateros / Instagram

The Yellowtail Yusu dish that Los Tomateros serves is similar to a popular item found on the Nobu Malibu menu that is approximately $30. The dish is expensive, but Baca is able to recreate it beautifully for less and introduce it to folks in the community that may never have the opportunity to dine at Nobu. Baca is establishing his own spin on sushi, proving that you don’t have to go an expensive restaurant to get delicious and high-quality seafood. 

Mariscos y Sushi Los Tomateros is the outcome of years of sacrifice, savings, and hard work. 

In the beginning, Baca worked two shifts at Nobu and faced sleepless nights to make his restaurant a reality. Baca started small, first cooking from his home for his coworkers at Nobu the traditional Mexican dishes they craved, then he began cooking for celebrities. His determination to make his business and delicious food did not go unnoticed as he has catered events for famous Mexican figures, such as soccer player Carlos Vela. 

At some points in his career, Baca struggled to keep his restaurant afloat and was left without electricity or the money to buy the proper ingredients to cook his dishes. He would call his relatives for help, asking for funds to maintain his business. All this to keep his dream alive. 

Baca’s goal to own his own restaurant and be the boss of his locale is a goal that is shared by many immigrants around the United States.

After all, it is the American dream to have your own business, but it is not easy to obtain. Baca demonstrated a lot of patience as he stayed at the same job for almost 15 years to make Mariscos y Sushi Los Tomateros happen. However, it’s more than just having the money to fund your business. Baca has the skill to mix traditional cuisines together to create something amazing. Moreover, the knowledge from working at Nobu allows him to cook exquisite meals. It was not easy for Baca to get to where he is today as it took years before he was able to see the fruits of his labor materialize, but it did eventually happen. Baca fought hard to keep his dream afloat and did not let the setbacks hinder his success as an entrepreneur.

If you find yourself in the Lynwood, California area, make sure to check out Mariscos y Sushi Los Tomateros and try some of their mariscos that are 100% Sinaloense! 

‘Pose’ Is Going Where Few Shows Have Gone Before And It’s Thanks To Afro-Latino Co-Creator Steven Canals

Entertainment

‘Pose’ Is Going Where Few Shows Have Gone Before And It’s Thanks To Afro-Latino Co-Creator Steven Canals

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Pose is unlike any other show on television. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the series’ esteemed accolades. Last month, Pose earned six Emmy nominations. Co-creator Steven Canals will be the first Latinx producer ever nominated for a drama Emmy. It is the first show that features a predominately POC and LGBTQ+ cast and crew to be nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Writers Janet Mock and Lady J are the first Emmy-nominated trans producers. Meanwhile, Billy Porter is the first openly gay black person to be nominated for Outstanding Lead in a Drama Series. 

This is a lot of firsts. None of which could be possible without the Bronx-born Latinx, Steven Canals drawing from his experiences growing up in New York City. Pose shows that when LGBTQ folks and people of color are given the space to tell their own stories, people will watch. 

Pose is magic.

Credit: poseonfx / Instagram

Pose follows the lives of black and Latinx transwomen and queer men as they strive for autonomy, identity, and community through ballroom culture in 1980s and 1990s New York City. The series is visually stunning and emotionally gripping. Watching MJ Rodriguez as Blanca trying to do right by her chosen family, which is made up of other LGBTQ+ folks who’ve been rejected by their biological families and society at large, is like watching any mama trying to do right by her young. The themes are relatable, but the stories are fresh, new, and insightful because they focus on queer experiences that are too often relegated to the fringes of culture. 

Basically, what I am saying is stream Pose on FXNOW or Netflix. 

A new Latinx visionary. 

Credit: svcanals / Instagram

Steven Canals grew up in The Bronx in the 1980s. After spending years in higher education, riddled with self-doubt about whether he could compete in Hollywood, Canals finally decided to pursue his dreams. 

“And so finally, after five years, I was so tired of beating myself up and just so happened upon a career quiz that suggested I become a screenwriter. I sat with that for a little bit, and then about a week or so later I discovered UCLA’s online screenwriting program on a random film blog. I immediately applied, was accepted, and enrolled in the program while still working on-campus full-time,” Canals told Buzzfeed

Canals experienced homophobia and bullying from his peers while navigating the homophobic propaganda presented in the mainstream media in the 1980s. 

“Obviously I like being a queer person now, but [in the ’80s and ’90s] I either couldn’t or didn’t want to see what some people were seeing in me because there were no LGBTQ role models that could point to and say, ‘Look, it’s fine.’ [To me, this community] was still living under the cloud that was HIV, AIDS, homophobia, and just so much misinformation,” he said. 

That feeling when you get to see yourself on screen.

Credit: poseonfx / Instagram

Canals based Damon’s character, a young queer dancer with big dreams and a difficult home life, on himself. The characters of Blanca and Helena were based on the strong women he had in his life. 

“There are a lot of very strong, independent, and complicated women in Pose and it comes out of having spent an entire life being surrounded by women who are all of those things,” Canals said.

Latinx representation is sorely lacking.  A study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that 47 percent of the 1,200 surveyed films did not have any Latinx speaking roles. Only 3 percent of the highest-grossing movies from 2007 to 2018 had a Latinx actor as a lead or co-lead. Only 17 out of 1,200 films had a Latinx woman in a leading role. Moreover, the study notes that fair-skinned Latinx actors are expected to portray white characters, while Afro-Latinx actors are expected to play black American characters. In both cases, Latinx identity is erased. 

LGBTQ+ representation hit a record high in 2018, with 8.8% of TV characters identifying as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, according to GLAAD’s annual TV diversity report. For the first time, LGBTQ+ people of color outnumbered white LGBTQ+ characters. However, this is largely due to the singular effort of Pose. 

“GLAAD counted 26 trans characters on TV, which is nine more than last year. A significant percentage of that progress was driven by Ryan Murphy’s new series Pose on FX, which has five new trans characters,” according to the Verge.  

The power of diversity on and off-screen.

Credit: poseonfx / Instagram

The cast and crew of Pose have had a transformative effect on representation. The show has queer people telling stories from queer history with allusions to the infamous drag queen and fashion designer Dorian Corey to a slew of consultants whose real lives revolve around drag and ballroom culture. 

“That’s why it was so critically important for us at Pose to have the [actual] ballroom community be part of our process and the show’s narrative as consultants, choreographers, and experts, not just providing a seat at the table but also compensating them for taking a seat,” Canals said.