Entertainment

Miss Bala’ Wants To Pave A Way For More Latinos To Work In Hollywood Behind And In Front Of The Camera

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When it comes to Latino representation in major studio films, there is a huge disparity. Statistics show Latinos are the largest minority group in the country and account for the largest percentage of moviegoers among minorities at 24 percent. Yet when it comes to representation on the big screen, Latinos are severely lacking as they made up only 6.2 percent of speaking characters in the top 100 movies in 2017. “Miss Bala,” an action thriller set to hit theaters on Feb. 1, is trying to change the notion that a predominately Latino cast and crew can’t perform well at the box office.

With a 95 percent Latino cast and crew, “Miss Bala” is set to break some barriers along the way.

“Miss Bala” features Gina Rodriguez, the star of “Jane The Virgin”, and a cast that is compromised of 95 percent Latino from cast to crew. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film that centers around Gloria, a makeup artist from Los Angeles who finds her own power when she is kidnapped and forced to smuggle money for a drug cartel. The film is a remake of the 2011 Mexican film directed by Gerardo Naranjo and was produced by Pablo Cruz, who oversaw the original film.

Having a cast that is predominantly Latino is a rarity in today’s Hollywood landscape. After films like “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” dominated the box office, “Miss Bala” is getting its chance to give Latinos they’re big break at the box office. What makes the film even more special is the leading role will be a Latina, in an action film nonetheless.

Gina Rodriguez hopes the film opens the door for more Latino representation in TV and film.

Rodriguez made her big splash when she won a Golden Globe in 2015 for her leading role in “Jane The Virgin.” Shortly after, the 34-year-old actress became one of the faces of Latino representation in Hollywood. It’s also a topic she isn’t afraid of speaking up about. Rodriguez has been outspoken about Latin American representation in television and film, she has also acknowledged she can’t be the only voice representing the Latino community.

“There’s no way I can represent the Latinx community alone. We come in varied shades and skin color and eye color and hair, and political background and religious background and the complexities of the Latinx community is so great,” Rodriguez said in a CBS interview. “So to be an advocate is important for me, because if I can create more opportunities and you can see more and the varied beautiful cultures does encompass the Latinx community.”

“Miss Bala” will be the first lead movie role for Rodriguez and will soon be the new face of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego.

“Miss Bala” isn’t trying to just break Hollywood taboos but start a movement by making Latino-led films the new norm.

There is hope that the success of the film can create a movement in Hollywood where Latino-led films will get more opportunities. Cruz says he hopes this is just the first installment of Miss Bala.

“What will be amazing is if in a year or two we’re making the third installment of ‘Miss Bala,’ and we say (expletive), there are two more films like ours because now things have changed,” Cruz told USA Today.

Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), says the film represents a new barrier being broken for Latinos. He’s seen many studios pass on films like “Miss Bala” and hopes this is the step in the right direction.

“The NHMC supports films like MISS BALA that are not only compelling and outstanding artistically but are also barrier-breaking, hiring a cast and crew that is 95 percent Latino. This at a time when research shows Latino leads and speaking roles in the top grossing films in recent years are nearly non-existent,” Nogales said. “This is a solid film that will likely show a nearly all-Latino cast and crew can mean good business for a major Hollywood studio.”


READ: This ‘Roma’ Actor Has Been Denied A Visa For The Third Time And Might Miss The Oscars

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The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Entertainment

The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic? You’ve heard all of those terms before, and you have, of course, also heard the arguments that come over their use. Nowadays, many younger generations of Latinx folks decide to opt for “Latinx” because it’s more inclusive but there are still others who haven’t fully accepted or adopted this term in their daily lives. 

Many people who are of Mexican, Argentinian, Cuban, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan (and many other countries!) descent, have a difficult time coming agreeing to one term that everyone can identify as. 

But that’s the point of having different opinions and experiences, so it’s important to learn more about one’s history and also be open to another’s point of view.

Reddit user u/Aldopeck posted a status on the thread r/stupidpol posted about the Daily Show trying to use “Latinx to seem woke to Spanish people. All the Latinos in the comment section react saying ‘Latinx’ is a bullshit term that’s never going to be a thing.” 

Many people have also tried to make sense of whether Latino, Latinx or Hispanic is any “better” or “more inclusive” of a term. For example, last year, Remezcla published an extensive article on a brief but thorough history of how these words originated.  “Through my conversations and research into the background of these terms, it became clear that the origins and evolution of what we call ourselves is as complicated as our history in the United States,” writes Yara Simón for Remezcla on the topic

“We’ll probably never find a perfect term, especially as some prefer to identify as their (or their family’s) country of origin.”

Arturo Castro went on the Daily Show last month to talk to Trevor Noah about his latest sketch show “Alternatino.” In the segment, Castro spoke to Noah about how difficult it was to juggle his characters from “Broad City” and “Narcos.” But he also talked about his heritage and how his experiences as a Latino influence his work. 

“You know, being Latino, everybody sort of expects you to be, like, suave, you know, and really like spicy food or be really good at dancing,” Castro said. “I really like matcha, you know?”

But regardless of his matcha-loving ways, Castro is very intentional about uplifting his community (he’s from Guatemala) and isn’t one to shy away from major issues affecting people of color through his Comedy Central sketch show, “Alternatino.” For example, earlier this week, Comedy Central aired an episode of “Alternatino” that includes a mass-shooting-themed sketch

In “The Daily Show” interview, Noah then asks Castro, “what do you think some of the biggest misconceptions are about being Latino that you’ve come across in America that you try and debunk in the show?” 

To which Castro replies, “Well, you know, there’s this thing about being ultra-violent or being lazy. Like, you know, the most common misconception is about Latino immigrants being lazy. Where I find Latino immigrants to be some of the hardest-working people in the world, right?” 

While Arturo Castro dropped some gems during the interview, notice that his quotes all referred to his community and himself as “Latino”? Well, when The Daily Show shared a promotional post on Facebook about the interview, they used the term “Latinx” and people were not happy about it.

“Arturo Castro pokes fun at Latinx stereotypes on his new sketch series, “Alternatino,” the social team for The Daily Show wrote on Facebook. 

It didn’t take long for the backlash to pop up in the comments section.

Users were quick to comment on the use of the term Latinx, and criticize the show for inserting the word into Castro’s quote.

While the argument about whether one should use Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic is still up in the air, people can’t help but have opinions about it. 

A reddit user argued that “you can’t really say [Latinx] in Spanish. I mean you can ‘Latin-equis’ but nobody does. The whole thing just reeks of white liberal wokeness being imposed on a community of smelly unfortunates. If they’re so concerned with gendered languages why don’t they do the same thing with French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.?” 

But other Facebook commenters weren’t going to let people off the hook for criticizing The Daily Show’s use of “Latinx” in their promotion. 

As one Facebook user pointed out, “not everyone identifies as binary male/female…hence the use of Latinx…it is for people who can’t or won’t identify as either. If you don’t like Latinx then don’t use it…see how simple that was?”

So, what’s it going to be? Latinx, Latino, or Hispanic? This social outrage also begs the question, if someone didn’t refer to themselves as “Latinx,” then should you omit the use of that term completely? Should brands be thinking harder about this before they hit post? 

You tell us! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

The ‘Jane The Virgin’ Cast Shared Their Final Goodbyes And We’re Not Crying, You’re Crying

Entertainment

The ‘Jane The Virgin’ Cast Shared Their Final Goodbyes And We’re Not Crying, You’re Crying

Last week marked the end of an era for many diehard “Jane the Virgin” fans. For the past five years and for the exactly 100 episodes, we’ve laughed, cried, and spent a lot of time getting to know the Villanueva family. Through the original CW show, we also became enthralled in the drama telenevolas many of us Latinx kids grew up watching with our families. JTV might have not been the most realistic portrayal of our personal lives or even real life for that matter, but at the root of it, the show focused on the importance of love, friendships, and family; it taught us lessons we’ll never forget.

 But most importantly, JTV’s Jane Villanueva made sure many of us saw ourselves represented through our television screen for the past five years. 

Ultimately, Jane Villanueva was us. She made us feel seen, heard, and she helped us navigate life as Latina women worthy of love and worthy of achieving the impossible.

The last and final chapter of Jane the Virgin, which aired earlier this week on the CW, was the fairytale ending we were all waiting for since. For seasons, devoted fans followed Jane Villanueva’s journey when she stepped off that bus and was artificially inseminated with Rafael Solano’s baby. Since then, characters have been killed, characters have been kidnapped, characters have died and then come back to life, Jane has written a book and then another, we’ve encountered and defeated many villains, and well, you know how novelas go. 

But on the last episode, there were no surprises. No deaths. No bad luck. Just pure bliss.

The cast of Jane the Virgin also shared heartfelt tributes to a show that’s also forever changed their lives. 

Justin Baldoni, aka Rafael Solano, posted so many sweet behind the scenes photos of him alongside the cast. 

The day after her 35th birthday and on the day of the series finale, Gina Rodriguez shared a heartfelt tribute to the show that brought us Jane Villanueva.

“We started shooting the first season of Jane in July 2014. A few days into shooting I turned 30 on set. Yesterday I turned 35. And today is the very last episodes, 99 and 100 airing of Jane The Virgin. Five years. Five years of love, laughter, growth, pain, surprises, deaths, new births and a shit ton of memories. To my warriors who have supported me from day one, Thank you. I am able to live out my dream career because of you and I will never stop making art to bring Joy and Laughter into your home/train ride/plane ride or classroom! Art is my savior. Art is what makes me feel like I can fly,” she wrote in her caption.

If you’re like me, and have been #TeamJafael since the beginning, Justin Baldoni’s tribute will make you cry.

“For the past five years you have welcomed us into your homes, apartments, dorm rooms…but more than that—so much more than that—you have welcomed us into your hearts,” Baldoni wrote. “This show has been magic because you all are magic. And there are not enough words in all the languages of the world to adequately express how deeply grateful I am. So I will just say thank you.”

Yael Grobglas, who portrayed Petra in JTV, posted footage of the final table read of the series finale.

In the video, Gina and Justin can be seen reciting their last lines of JTV ever, unable to hold back tears. We dare you NOT to cry. 

Grobglas also shared a photo with her alongside the other fierce women characters on the show. ” I’m so happy we got to end on our own terms unlike most shows and wrap things up at our own time but I’m still incredibly overwhelmed by this chapter ending. So people are asking me how I feel.. I don’t know,” she wrote.

Our favorite fictional mama, Xiomara, shared a video of her watching the series finale. We’ll miss you, Xo! 

Jaime Camil, the best fictional father and telenovela star that there ever was, also shared a heartfelt message to JTV fans on the night of the finale.

“100 episodes, 5 years, unlimited amount of feelings, indescribable friendships, overwhelming support, gratitude, joy, love and of course, the greatest fans. Thank you for giving us the privilege to entertain you. Your kind words mean everything,” Camil wrote in an Instagram caption. We’ll miss you forever, Rogelio de la Vega. 

Despite it being the final season of “Jane the Virgin,” it’s important to not forget that we’ll now be getting a spinoff! In case you forgot, Jane the Novela–which will be narrated by Gina Rodriguez–will follow the format of a American Horror Story definition of an anthology. This means it will be telling one complete story each episode like a traditional telenovela. 

Jennie Snyder Urman told PopSugar that if the show makes it to the second season, provided that it even gets picked up to be a series in the first place, we might get lucky and see other Jane the Virgin characters appear as well.

So this isn’t a goodbye, it’s hopefully a see you later for JTV fans.

“Don’t forget to enjoy the ride because every chapter comes to a close,” Gina Rodriguez says in Chapter 99, part of the two-part series finale. “So I have enjoyed the ride, things like this, they are winning the lottery. I will always thank Jane, the character.” 

We’ll never forget the 100 chapters Jane the Virgin brought us. *cries* 

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