Entertainment

Jharrel Jerome Made History By Being The First Ever Afro-Latino To Win An Emmy For Acting And His Acceptance Speech Made Latinos Everywhere Cry Their Hearts Out

Another glass ceiling has finally been broken in Hollywood. On Sunday night, Dominican-American actor Jharrel Jerome became the first-ever Afro-Latino actor to win an Emmy for acting. Jerome won the award for his work in the Ava Duverney limited series “When They See Us”, where he portrayed the wrongly-convicted Korey Wise. 

“When They See Us” is a Netflix-helmed production that revolves around the case of Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam–a group of black and Latino young men who were wrongly convicted for the rape and assault of a female jogger. Jerome played the part of Korey Wise, the oldest of the group, and the only member who was forced to serve his term in the adult prison system. Years later, the true assailant admitted to the crime and the men were released from prison. 

The limited-series has been praised for “adding a necessary layer of humanity” to the boys’ stories and challenging viewers to “reconsider what it means to find justice in America.”

The win was one of the most emotional wins of the night, with the audience erupting into applause and getting to its feet when Jerome won.

Notably among the audience were the members of “The Central Park Five”, whom Jerome referred to in his speech as “The Exonerated Five”. The men gave Jerome a standing ovation along with the rest of the crowd, all of them visibly emotional. Korey Wise, the man Jerome portrayed, was shown with tears running down his face during Jerome’s acceptance speech.

Jerome started the speech saying that he feels he should be “in the Bronx right now, chillin,’ waiting for my mom’s cooking, but I’m here”. He then went on to thank his family for their support, including his mother and his father. He lapsed into Spanish at one point, pointing to the sky and telling his deceased grandfather “te quiero”. Finally, he dedicated his award “Most importantly, this is for the men that we know as The Exonerated Five. Thank you so much. It’s an honor and a blessing.”

The win was a shock to audience and critics alike, as the category was stacked with heavy-hitters.

The competition was stiff among the limited-series nominees, with household names like Benecio Del Toro, Hugh Grant, Mahershala Ali, and Jared Harris among the actors. Jerome thanked his fellow nominees at the beginning of his speech, saying that he was “here with his inspirations” with people he was “so motivated by”. The win was not only surprising because of Jerome’s status as a newcomer, but also his age–the youngest actor ever to win in this category. 

The significance of the occasion was not lost on Jerome, who said that he hoped it was a “step forward for Dominicans, for Latinos, for Afro-Latinos” in a backstage interview.

Backstage, Jerome was also candid about the impact of black and brown stories, and how their power lies in the truth they portray. “I think our strongest stories are the stories of pain, considering that’s what we go through on a regular basis,” he said. “I think the truth is our pain needs to be told.”

Always on board to celebrate the accomplishments of la Raza, Latinxs took to Twitter to express their joy at Jerome’s win. 

Naturally, the news is cause for celebration. After all, it’s not every day that a young Dominican Afro-Latino from the Bronx wins an Emmy. Especially when he’s pitted against Oscar-winners and industry favorites.

This Latina took to Twitter to emphasize the significance of this event:

With Jerome’s win, history was literally made on Sunday night–that fact can’t be stated enough.

Even Lin Manuel Miranda got in on the action, expressing his pride:

It turns out that Miranda and Jerome had met before. What a beautiful example of Latinos supporting other Latinos!

This Latino was overcome with all of the emotion he was feeling from Jerome’s win.

It’s hard to express the pride one feels when seeing someone from their tribe make an impact on the world. This is why representation on our screens is so important.

This Dominicana had a thing or two to say about black and Latinx intersectionality:

Jerome’s win is the perfect teachable moment for people (included Latinxs) who struggle with the fact that there are black Latinos out there. 

This Latina suggested a nation-wide day off for Dominican-Americans.

We don’t hate that idea. Every step forward should be celebrated. 

Congratulations to Jharrel Jerome for a much-deserved win. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing him on our screens for years to come.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Entertainment

Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Nickelodeon

It’s no secret that over the past few decades, people of color worked to fight for equal representation on screens both big and small. While, of course, there have been great POC and LGTBQ relationships on television there’s really been a spike in the spectrum of representation since our early years watching television and learning about relationships.

Recently, we asked Latinas on Instagram what shows and movies featured their favorite most diverse couples.

And the answers threw us for a time loop!

Check them out below!


“Maria and Luis on Sesame Street.”- melissa_phillips71


“Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner is The Bodyguard, they reminded me of my parents and they loved to play the soundtrack.” –millenialmarta


“The leads in Someone Great, Jane and Michael the virgin and the lesbian relationship Gentrified. It’s been 30 years and I finally found characters I can relate to.” –allyss_abyss_

“Most definitely, “Brooklyn 99”: two female Hispanics as regulars and a white person playing a Hispanic (Andy Samberg’s character’s last name is Peralta, which is a Spanish surname).” – seadra2011

“Holt and Kevin(and Rosa Diaz) have changed the way people have perceived gay couples and gay people. Nine Nine!” –chaoticbiguy


“The first on-screen presence that made me feel seen/represented period was @justinamachado ‘s character on One Day At A Time. A Latina veteran struggling with her mental health while trying to juggle school, work, love, and family? And as a main character? Whew….“-vieja.metiche

“Taína! It was on Disney if I remember correctly?? Then @americaferrera in sisterhood of the traveling pants as Carmen. 😭❤️ her life was like mine. Growing up in suburbs but never really having a place culturally.. but my girlfriends still had my back no matter our background.” –chessy__a

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

America Ferrera Recounts Her First Hollywood Audition Where She Was Asked to Sound “More Latina”

Entertainment

America Ferrera Recounts Her First Hollywood Audition Where She Was Asked to Sound “More Latina”

The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were held on Sunday, and big-name stars gathered to celebrate and acknowledge groundbreaking television programs. One of the celebrities that made a special appearance was America Ferrera.

In a segment called “This Is What I Sound Like,” Ferrera spoke about her troubling experiences as a young Latina actress just starting off in Hollywood.

Before the segment, “Grown-ish” actress Yara Shahidi introduced the segment, emphasizing the importance of representation onscreen.

“The stories we tell on TV shape how we see ourselves and others,” she said. “And how we are seen can many times determine how we are treated. The dream of television is the freedom to live our full and nuanced lives outside of boxes and assumptions.”

In a pre-recorded segment, Ferrera then described her first audition in Hollywood–an experience that ended up being a formative one.

“I was 16-years-old when I got my very first audition and I was this little brown chubby Valley Girl who spoke, you know, like a Valley Girl,” Ferrera explained. “I walked in, did my audition. The casting director looked at me and was like, ‘That’s great. Can you do that again, but this time, sound ‘more Latina?””

According to Ferrera, she asked the casting director whether she wanted her to do the audition in Spanish. The casting director declined. Ferrera tried to explain the contradiction of the directions, telling the casting director: “I am a Latina and this is what I sound like.” Needless to say, she did not get the part.

When she went home to tell her family the story, they seemed unsurprised by the blatant stereotyping Ferrera was facing. They told her that the entertainment industry will want her to “speak in broken English” and “sound like a chola”.

“What did you think was gonna happen?” her family members asked her. “[Hollywood was] gonna have you starring in the next role made for Julia Roberts?”

According to Ferrera, the realization that Hollywood saw her in a different way than she saw herself made her want to “create more opportunity for little brown girls to fulfill their talent and their dream.”

NEWMARKET FILMS

Since then, the Honduran-American actress has starred in numerous projects that illustrate the diversity of the Latinx experience in America, from “Real Women Have Curves” to “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” to “Ugly Betty“. Most recently, Ferrera dipped her toe into the producing waters with the bilingual Netflix series “Gentified“.

Although Ferrera is putting in the work for more Latinx representation onscreen, the Television Academy still has a long way to go when it comes to recognizing Latinx talent. Unfortunately, the only Latino person nominated for an Emmy this year was Argentine-Mexican actress Alexis Bledel for her work in “The Handmaid’s Tale”.

Here’s to hoping that Latinos like America Ferrera will continue to make their voices heard, giving inspiration to little brown girls everywhere who want nothing more than to see themselves onscreen.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com