Despite how different the characters are in Netflix series, “One Day at a Time,” at the end of the day they love and respect one another 100 percent. If it wasn’t for the Alvarez’s distinct personalities, this Cuban-American sitcom wouldn’t be so funny, emotional, dramatic and entertaining as it is.
What if you were a character from the show? Would you be Abuela, Penelope, Elena or Alex? Take the quiz to find out.
In it, Machado covers everything from her lengthy career, to the sad state of Latinx representation in Hollywood, to the offensive phone call she had with a tone-deaf TV exec in the ’90s.
Finally, after almost 25 years of hard work in Hollywood, Machado is dominating America’s Monday nights with two high-profile gigs: a spot on “Dancing With the Stars” and the return of “One Day At a Time” to CBS after it was unceremoniously dropped by Netflix.
Naturally, with so much on her plate, the Puerto Rican actress in not only mentally, but physically exhausted. After all, “Dancing With the Stars” is notorious for its grueling practice and shoot schedules. “Every day when I come home, my routine is dunking my feet in [an ice bath],” she told the LA Times. “The first week and a half of rehearsals, forget about it–I was crying.”
But Machado is glad that she took the DWTS opportunity for what it means in terms of Latinx representation on network television.
“The thing about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is it reaches so many more homes than [‘One Day at a Time’]…,” she told the publication. “I know they’ve had Latinas on the show, but they need a whole lot more. And so I was like, ‘I’m going to do that. I’m going to be that Puerto Rican woman that’s on that show.’”
Throughout the interview, Machado gets candid about what it’s like to be a Latina in the American entertainment industry–which is an unforgiving business.
She described the beginning of her career as plagued by insecurity. Before she began a professional acting career, Machado was convinced she couldn’t make it as an actor because professional acting “wasn’t a part of [her] world.” “Nobody was an actor in Chicago that I knew, in my neighborhood, in the inner city of Chicago,” she explained.
After she finally established her footing in Hollywood, she was then met with further doors slammed in her face in the form of racism and anti-Latino sentiment.
Like when an executive called her to tell her why her TV show wasn’t moving forward, back in the ’90s.
“He literally called my house, nice man… and said, ‘My God, your pilot is so great. Everybody loves you, everybody. But we don’t think America is ready for a Latino family.’”
What’s depressing about this story is that Latino representation onscreen still hasn’t gotten much better over 20 years later. But Machado is hopeful that the tides of change are turning
“That was acceptable for him to say…Like, what? And that was the ’90s! And look at today. How many Latino families do you see on television? So America better get ready because we’re here. We’re here.” We know that if Machado has anything to do with the future of TV, we’ll be seeing Latino families more and more often.
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.