Jackie Cruz, Selenis Leyva And More Latino Netflix Stars Talk Diversity In Hollywood

credit: Courtesy of Netflix

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month Netflix invited its Latino stars from “Orange is the New Black” and “On My Block” to chat over aguas frescas about diversity and what it’s like to be Latino in Hollywood—and things got real.

Jackie Cruz and Selenis Leyva from OITNB, sat down with Jason Genao and Jessica Maria Garcia from “On My Block” in Los Angeles’ Topanga Canyon to talk about what roles they were first offered as Latinos when they were starting to break into the business.

Selenis Leyva was the veteran at the table and discussed the misconception of actors not wanting certain roles.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Netflix

Leyva said she has played the prostitute over and over again until she got moved up to…drum roll…girlfriend of suspect. Jackie Cruz, Leyva’s OITNB co-star” chimed in that she was also given roles in a similar vein including inmate, rape victim, and heroin addict.

“I don’t have a problem with playing the maid. I don’t have a problem with playing the prostitute,” Leyva says. “I have a problem if that’s all you think I can play.”

Cruz chimed in saying that the various prostitute roles is why she is grateful for OINTB for changing things up.

Leyva asked her if it really did and that when Jason Genao chimed in saying that it is because of OITNB that we have “On My Block.”

“I think it has. It went from ‘Orange’ to ‘On My Block,'” Genao says. “You know, Lauren and Eddie and Jeremy come and pitch ‘On My Block’ and they’re like ‘No, it’s only black and Hispanic people. Is that the show you want?’ And they’re like, ‘That’s the show we want.’ And that’s the show we got.”

The conversation then evolved to how Latinos are often shut out of award shows.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Netflix

“The representation is out there, and yet, we only are invited to either attend the after-parties or to hand out the awards,” Leyva says. She further compared handing out trophies to handing out food at the faster parties and asked what the difference was.

A message to the academies: you can, and should, do better.

Watch the full video below as the stars discuss Hollywood’s lack of representation.


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

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