Entertainment

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

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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HBO Is Rebooting ‘The Brothers García’, And the Original Cast Is Coming Back!

Entertainment

HBO Is Rebooting ‘The Brothers García’, And the Original Cast Is Coming Back!

Photo via vaneza/Instagram

If you were a Latino kid in the early 2000s, chances are you were a fan of “The Brothers García“. “The Brothers García” was a Nickelodeon show that ran for four seasons from 2000 to 2004.

The show centered on a middle-class Latino family living in San Antonio, Texas. It was one of the only shows on television that portrayed a normal, loving Latino family doing normal, everyday things.

Well, good news to “The Brothers García” fans! “The Brothers García” is coming back for a 10-episode run on HBO.

According to Variety, this “finds the Garcia children grown up and gathering with their parents for a three-month summer vacation in a luxury home by the beach.”

And the entire original cast is returning!

In a Zoom interview, series creator Jeff Valdez discussed how he approached the story back in the day. “The original show was always about a simple slice of life story that happened in this family,” Valdez said. “In every episode there’s a lesson to be learned. We wanted to keep that simple contract with our audience.”

To sweeten the pot even further, Valdez revealed that the reboot’s cast and crew will be 90% Latino. That is a jaw-dropping statistic for Hollywood.

The new series will also show the García siblings with “diverse families of their own, reflecting the increasingly multi-racial complexion of American families.”

Valdez says he pursued a reboot after a reunion photo of the original cast went viral in 2018. Understandably, the photo went viral. Valdez then realized how deeply the series had touched a generation of Latino viewers.

“I don’t think I fully grasped what we were accomplishing with the product we were putting out,” Jeffrey Licon, who played Carlos, said to Variety. “The response has always been overwhelming. People tell me it was their favorite show because they could identify it. I don’t think we realized how many people we were affecting.”

“The Brothers García” cast, for their part, seems to be very excited to reunite over 15 years after the series went off the air.

“I feel like I’m seeing my actual children again. It’s wonderful,” said actress Ada Maris, who played the mother, Sonia, on the original show. “I feel like I have the right to tell Bobby [Gonzalez] to cut his hair.” Bobby Gonzalez played the kid genius George García.

“I love getting to revisit a character and see where his life is now and the choices that led him here,” said Gonzalez. “I’m excited to have my family back and get a new daughter and wife.”

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Emmy Nominations Snub Latino Actors Again Despite Great Roles This Year

Entertainment

Emmy Nominations Snub Latino Actors Again Despite Great Roles This Year

Once again, the Emmy nominations have overlooked the Latino roles that made the years memorable. From Rita Moreno to Mj Rodriguez, there were roles the covered a lot of Latino culture, and yet there was no mention from the Emmys.

The Emmy nominations are out and it is another slap in the face to the Latino community.

Latino representation in Hollywood has been a major issue for decades. Recently, there has been more and more pressure to equalize the representation of media to better reflect society. However, the Emmys still don’t get it. Instead, the only Latino recognized by the Emmys is Alexis Bledel as a Guest Actress in a Drama for “A Handmaid’s Tale.”

However, the J.Lo/Shakira halftime show was nominated for four awards.

The halftime show made history with at least 1,300 calls to the FCC complaining of the perceived overly sexualized nature of the show. Now, the performance is nominated for outstanding variety special (live), outstanding directing for a variety special, outstanding lighting design/direction for a variety special and outstanding music direction.

Yet, in the time of “One Day at a Time,” “Vida,” “Gentefied,” and “Pose” how did this happen?

There are so many shows highlighting the evergrowing representation of the complete Latino experience. There are obviously so much more to cover and bring to light, yet with the massive successes of the Latino-led shows right now, many are disappointed in the Emmys clear lack of representation.

“But not Rita Moreno, who has been killing it on One Day at a Time for four seasons. Not Laura Gómez, whose performance in Orange Is the New Black’s excellent final season was alternatively haunting and inspiring — and as timely as it gets,” Laura Bradley wrote for the Daily Beast about Bledel being the lone Latino acting nomination. “Not Melissa Barrera or Mishel Prada of Vida, a series that pushed past stereotypical Latinx stories to discuss deeper, more nuanced issues that pervade our community before it was canceled too soon.”

It is a frustrating reminder to the Latino community that so much work still needs to be done.

Latinos today have shows that they can point to as showing their experience. We have characters and actors we cling to because of their representation. The shows are also successful. “One Day at a Time,” for example, was removed for Netflix and a global effort started to save the show. Twitter was buzzing with people across the globe trying to get Netflix to reverse course on the sudden and devastating cancelation. Fortunately, Pop TV come through and saved the beloved show to keep bring us stories from the Alvarez family.

The Latino community deserves better and we need to keep making noise.

Latinos are a diverse and growing community in the U.S. We have stories that still need to be told and we have stories that are being told. They are being told with authenticity and passion. The lack of Latino representation at the Emmys is something that we are all very aware of. It is necessary to make sure that we all have a seat at the table.

Basically, it is time for the Emmys to do better.

Latino roles are out there and thriving. It is long past time for them to get the recognition they deserve.

READ: Indya Moore Told Reporters On The Red Carpet That They Do Not Identify As Latina And Here’s Why

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