Entertainment

Facts About Judy Reyes That Will Make You Petition Hollywood To Cast Her More

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Judy Reyes is one of those actresses that you feel personally close with, and expect her to forever be in your life. Best known for her role as Carla Espinosa on “Scrubs,” we don’t know why we don’t get much more of her on the big screen.

Reyes is passionate about representation and puts her money where her mouth is, behind projects that include Latinos, written by Latinos, produced by Latinos. “In order to get those stories told, we need more writers, more executives. It’s just so complicated because we’re multicultural, multiethnic, all different colors and all different cultures,” she tells Shondaland. “It’s not just Mexican or Puerto Rican. We’re Afro-Latinos. We’re indigenous Afro-Latinos. We’re rich, we’re poor. Oftentimes the powers that be shy away from telling that story. We have to tell them ourselves at the end of the day, in order to have greater representation.”

Let’s hear what she has to say, gente.

Judy Reyes was born in the Bronx.

Credit: @byshondaland / Twitter

Like so many of our other favorite celebrities, Reyes was born and raised in The Bronx. Did she and J.Lo ever cross paths in the street or help Young Cardi tie her shoes? We’ll never know.

She identifies as Afro-Dominicana.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

Caption: “Me and my dad Jorge Maria Reyes. Classy. Kind. Generous. Charming. Courageous. How I miss you.”

She is a total Scorpio.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

Scorpio traits include an endless depth of emotion that has clearly fueled Reyes into the realm of acting. She has range.

She has a twin sister who also acts.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

Her sister, Jocelyn is also an actress, and you may have even thought she was Judy the whole time Jocelyn was on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Judy Reyes has had more success in the acting world that Jocelyn, as that was her last appearance.

“Scrubs” wasn’t the first time she played a nurse.

Credit: @Latina / Twitter

We lovingly remember her as Nurse Carla, but have collectively forgotten her role on “Bringing Out the Dead.” Granted, it was 1999 at the time, but she proved her worth as a nurse and it paid off.

She has a daughter named Leila Rey Valencia.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

She and her long-time boyfriend George Valencia had her together. She’ll be turning 10 years old this year.

Reyes dressed her daughter up as Selena for Halloween 2018.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

She totally nailed that look. Not only does the costume look exactly like Selena’s outfit, but the attitude is totally there. This was a group project and everyone came prepared to knock it out of the park.

Reyes is an outspoken feminist.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

It’s not feminism if it’s not intersectional.

Caption: “Today is #LatinaEqualPayDay, when we “catch up” to what white, non-hispanic men were paid in 2017. The gap is widest for Latina workers, who on average only get 53 cents for every $1 a man is paid. The gap has widened since last year, and for some, it’s even worse. This is an injustice, and there’s still so much work to do for Latinas to be treated equally. I am #PhenomenallyLatina, and I support Latina equal pay!”

Reyes’ advocates even harder for women in the Dominican Republic.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

Caption: “I stand with thousands of women marching in the Dominican Republic today to end the total abortion ban. It’s time for the country’s leaders to vote in favor of health, life and #DignityForDR · In the Dominican Republic, women can be sentenced to 3 years in prison for an abortion. The time is now for politicians to change this cruel law. #DignityForDR”

“My Latina point of view is just that: I’m the daughter of an immigrant. And I think [what’s been going on] is bullsh*t.”

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

She tells Shondaland,”I’m first generation Dominican from Dominican parents, so I can’t turn a blind eye to what’s going on in terms of immigration. It’s the least that I can do to be honest about how I feel.”

Caption: “How do we really feel? Get your own at GeorgeLopezStore.com. 100% of proceeds will be donated to support local El Paso organizations.”

Reyes marched with Justina Machado at The Women’s March.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

Reyes and Machado are both on Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” reboot that features an actually relatable Cuban-American family. In it, Reyes character is met in a veteran support group and is the Lesbian 411 for Machado’s character’s newly out daughter.

Today, she’s making waves on TNT’s “Claws.”

Credit: @tntdrama / Twitter

In it, she plays a butch lesbian salon lookout. We learn that she went to college to become a teacher but was convicted of attempted murder after her husband stabbed her girlfriend. Yeah. You want to watch this show.

Her part as “Quiet Ann” is largely mute.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

She told Shondaland that “Achieving success playing the sassy nurse on “Scrubs” was the most amazing thing in terms of generating the career that I have. I get to be the sassy this and the sassy that. It makes money for people. It makes money for me. But I still want to be able to play something else. So once this opportunity to play Quiet Ann came along, I became nervous about actually speaking. I wanted to do right by her and do right by the show. I incorporated that nervousness into everything the character was going through.”

Quiet Ann is a “gift” for Reyes.

Credit: @outmagazine / Twitter

“There are issues with being curly haired or dark skin, not as ingenue as opposed to a character….Those are the frustrations that I’ve experienced a lot,” she told “Modern Brown Girl.” “Trying to break out of a typecast once you’ve been known as a character for so many years. Which is why I’m so grateful for Quiet Ann right now. I have a real blessing to play something completely different from anything that I’ve played before.”

Por eso, Reyes is celebrated by the LGBTQ+ community for her unapologetic allyship.

Credit: @byshondaland / Twitter

Caption: “I stand in unity with LGBTQ youth of every background, race, religion, gender, identity, and sexual orientation. I refuse to allow hate and discrimination to divide us. Stand w me on #SpiritDay, today October 18. #GLAAD #SpiritDay 🏳️‍🌈 #clawstnt💅🏽 I stand in unity with LGBTQ youth of every background, race, religion, gender, identity, and sexual orientation. I refuse to allow hate and discrimination to divide us. Stand w me on #SpiritDay, today October 18. #GLAAD #SpiritDay 🏳️‍🌈 #clawstnt💅🏽”

Her Instagram might be “Claws” No. 1 stan account.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

That reads #ClawsUp and we are so here for the play on #TimesUp and just pure obsession with the show. Plus, those gold hoops. 🤩

Her favorite show growing up was “Charlie’s Angels.”

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

She also loved “The Love Boat” and “Three’s Company.” She’s already turning 50 years old this year!

She founded her own theater company for people of color and diverse backgrounds.

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

The LABrynth Theater Company (previously known as The Latino Actors Base) states its mission as “to deliberately interrupt the racial status quo by giving voice to artists of color and reflecting a world where color is the norm and not the exception.” Brava, Reyes.

She’s also been honored to have been part of the all-female cast of “Devious Maids.”

Credit: @itisijudyreyes1 / Instagram

Reyes says she was thrilled to be part of something based off all the novelas she grew up watching. The perks of working with so many other Latinas on the show was everything.

She credits the Latinos in her life as her inspiration.

Credit: @Latina / Twitter

She told “Modern Brown Girl,” “The people who gave me more inspiration were activists, other Latinos heavily involved in the theater. I came of age within in a strong theater community with a lot of diverse actors, Latinos in particular.”

Now, she’s the inspiration. Tweet this if you want more Reyes on screen.

READ: Here Are Some Of The Most Important Afro-Latino Figures Who Have Changed And Are Changing The World

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

Entertainment

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together. 

We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection. 

Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.

Kickstarter

So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos

Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.

Kickstarter

According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”. 

The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.

To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.

As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters. 

“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.

Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide

Kickstarter

The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination. 

As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before  “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

Culture

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

It seems like every other day there’s a new viral video of an old Trump supporter or a young white bro telling a Latinx person in the US to stop speaking Spanish. Recently, two elder women angrily ordered a Puerto Rican manager of a Central Florida Burger King to go back to Mexico when they overheard him speaking Spanish in a private conversation, while two Mexican-American women were detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection just for speaking Spanish at a Montana supermarket. The xenophobic and racist attacks, both verbal and physical, have made many feel like it’s dangerous to speak their own tongue or like an outcast for communicating to their parents or grandparents in the only language they know.

The English-only movement has further divided a country, with those ignited by the bigotry of the Trump administration unfoundedly threatened by just the sound of a person of color speaking another tongue and others who understand there is no official language in the US supporting the linguistic freedom and multiculturalism that allegedly makes the nation exceptional. 

On an episode of What Would You Do?, host John Quiñones confronts the schismatic topic. 

During the nearly 9-minute-long segment of the ABC series, a white mother tells her adopted Latina daughter to only speak Spanish and instructs her to order a hamburger instead of a traditional Latin American dish. Using hidden cameras to record the very common, but in this case staged, scenario, viewers get a peak of how ordinary people behave when they witness dilemmas that either compel them to intervene or mind their own business.

During the segment, Michele, the mother, and Isabella, the daughter, are grabbing a bite at a diner in Orangeburg, New York. The child asks the Latina waitress for arroz con leche, to which her mother responds, “Isabella, stop speaking Spanish. You’re American. That is not your language. What is wrong with you?” The first person to overhear, an elder white teacher, engages with the duo, telling Michele she doesn’t think she’s going about the situation “in the right way.” 

“She should be proud of her Spanish language, not to be made to feel like she’s doing something wrong,” she tells the mother. Later, she even advises the mom to learn Spanish and tells the young girl that Spanish is a beautiful language.

When Quiñones, himself a Texas-born Mexican-American, reveals his crew and asks why the woman intervened, she responded, “When it comes to children, I go from a mouse to a lion. I just don’t like anybody taking advantage of a child.”

In another scene, Isabela asks for arroz con pollo. Michele, visibly upset, scolds the girl. “Isabella, in English,” she demands. “I brought you here to give you a better life, and I want you to speak American.

This time, another teacher in a nearby table overhears and decides to offer Michele a quick lesson — in patience.

ABC

When Michele stresses that she just wants her daughter to speak English because they’re in the US, the teacher sympathizes with her. “I know. I’m a teacher, and I get it. But you’re not going to get anywhere demanding it, and you can’t get frustrated by it.”

She then turns to the girl and attempts to rationalize her mother’s actions. When Isabela asks the woman “do you think it’s wrong to speak Spanish,” she replies, “Not to mommy, because mommy doesn’t understand that. It’s good manners if you are with other people that don’t speak it, to speak English.”

When Quiñones pops out and confronts the patron, he asks her why she didn’t flat-out tell the mother she was wrong. The woman, who noted that Michele would have had better results honoring rather than attacking her daughter’s native tongue, said she was “getting very frustrated” and “was thinking maybe it was very bad,” but doesn’t know why she didn’t challenge Michele more on it.

In the next case, it’s a Puerto Rican diner who overhears the conversation. Not immediately making any comment, when Michele steps away, Isabela engages with the patron, who informs her she, too, speaks Spanish. “Yo hablo español,” she says, before asking if the young girl likes living in the US. “That’s good that somebody loving adopted you,” she says.

When Michele returned, she asks the woman if she agrees that her daughter should be speaking English instead of Spanish, to which she responds yes. At that moment, her partner, a white man, appears puzzled and chimes in: “You speak Spanish,” he tells his girlfriend. “I don’t make you speak English.” He then reacts to Michele, saying, “She [his girlfriend] speaks Spanish whenever she wants, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

When Quiñones comes out, he asks why the couple reacted the way they did. The boyfriend didn’t agree with the mother, explaining, “that’s who she is. That’s part of her identity.” As for the girlfriend, who was more sympathetic to the mom, she disclosed the discrimination she and her family experienced as Latinas in their predominately white neighborhood speaking Spanish and hoped the girl wouldn’t share her same fate. “I was a little annoyed in a way,” she said, “… but I’ve dealt with that.” She continued: “my mother spoke no English, and I had many fights when I was a teenager, people who would make fun a lot of times.”

Finally, in the last performance, it’s a white woman who is married to a Greek immigrant who is shaken by the confrontation. Angry by the conversation she overhears, she checks in on Isabela the moment her mom steps away, asking the girl if she wants her to call someone for her own safety and soon after informing a manager of the situation and urging them to phone officials who could help the girl.

When the mother returns, the woman confronts her. 

ABC

“We’re foreigners, so I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.” After Michele responds, “I just want her to be more American,” the woman questions, “and just forget about where she came from?” She continued: “We’re from Greece. We would never forget where we come from.”

Michele suggests that it’s different because her daughter is from Mexico, to which the woman, furious, says, “so you guys don’t accept Mexicans in your family?”

She added: “This is a melting pot of thousands of different people. My husband is Greek and my kids will speak Greek.”

Quiñones, who appears in the midst of the argument, informs the patron that she is on a TV show. The woman, who says she’s glad it’s fake because she was about to punch Michele, reaffirms that the US is a country where everyone is supposed to be welcomed and could proudly speak with their language. 

Meeting the actress who played Isabela, the woman tells her, “You would have been coming home with me tonight, and you would have been speaking English, Spanish, and Greek.”

Watch the entire segment below! 

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  1. Taco Man says:

    Love it!