Entertainment

Rita Moreno And Gina Rodriguez Shared In Mutual Puerto Rican Love And We Should All Aim For This Kind Of Relationship

Two generations of Boricua icons in television just gave the world touching love letters to each other, and our eyes are sweating.

Rita Moreno gave Gina Rodriguez, and every other Latina, exactly enough inspiration, validation and hope to make us sob. Straighten up. They want us to be the women we want to see in the world. Here’s the highlight reel.

Three years ago, Gina Rodriguez introduced Rita Moreno at the Kennedy Center Honors.

CREDIT: The Kennedy Center / YouTube

Gina Rodriguez is the star of “Jane the Virgin,” and Rita Moreno plays her abuelita, on Rogelio de la Vega’s side. In her tribute, she shared the story of meeting Moreno for the first time:

“Ma, when did Puerto Ricans come about?”

“What do you mean, Gina?”

“Well I never see us on my favorite TV shows or movies. We must not have existed back then, right?”

“Rita, this is my love letter to you.” ????

CREDIT: The Kennedy Center / YouTube

“And then she introduced me to you. I met you on screen and I just loved you. Your bright smile, your fierce persona, that fierce persona that just bursts through every performance, every interview. And I just wanted to be just like Rita.”

Three years later, Moreno recorded a love letter back to Rodriguez and unleashed it on all of us.

CREDIT: @knockknockjoan @Netflix / Twitter

She starts her love letter by calling Rodriguez “my little coquí,” which marks the first tear welling up in every boricua. The national animal of Puerto Rico is the coqui frog. which is adorable. ????

“Here is an old fashioned letter from me to you.”

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

But now that she is a role model, she says this,

“Throughout my career, of all the roles I’ve played, there is one which had no director no script, no notes given. There wasn’t even an audition. And as I ponder your letter, Gina, I realized it may have been the most seminal role I ever played.”

The reactions at this point were all tears.

CREDIT: @saviovcruz / Twitter

Just like my own mother, Moreno was born to seamstress in Humacao, Puerto Rico. Since she was born in 1931 (IKR, we age gracefully), she’s become an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony winner) and a Latina icon.

“I am so inspired in this third act of my life by young women like you dear, dear Gina.”

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“I was merely a frightened Latina girl lost in the maze of Hollywood, operation in survival mode. You know in my day, I had no role models, no coach, no publicity team. The only way I knew to survive was by being true to myself.”

Hearing Moreno commend Rodriguez for being a wise next act for what she started is raising many emotions.

CREDIT: @Aliciano / Twitter

We all cry when our abuelitas tell us sweet things about their lives and how we inspire them. Even after all of the years they have lived and celebrated, somehow, we are an inspiration for them. Perhaps it is because we are their wildest dreams realized.

Moreno is asking Rodriguez to continue telling the stories of Latinos, which must be heard.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“Watching you, a Latina, navigate our ‘business’ and with such confidence and grace, you go girl. We Latinos have extraordinary histories and stories that need telling. It is so encouraging it’s no longer a job of the few of us but a passion for so many of us.”

She’s right. The proof is in all the boricuas that came out to ship the passing of the baton.

CREDIT: @arizoniallst @jennbonafide / Twitter

Moreno isn’t just talking to Rodriguez at this point any more. She’s talking to all of us. It’s on all of us to represent Latinos accurately in all the work we do. Whether you’re an accountant, an actress, a teacher or chef: stake your claim on this world. We belong here.

Moreno basically just told us that Rodriguez is the new star Latina in town.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“You are young, you are wise, you’re able to see our community and it’s potential. And you have chosen to inspire your generation to do the same.”

In a very Moreno way, she just continues to inspire us all.

CREDIT: @WhizGidget / Twitter

Whether you’re half Latino, a quarter or full blown, todos somos 100 percent Latino y 100 percent American. Moreno has embodied all of us.

She literally also paused to give Rodriguez a thumbs up half way through.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

Moments after she said, “you go girl.” She cannot be 87 years old. Is there an award that grants immortality, because Rita deserves it.

And then she stated the obvious: Rodriguez is already our role models.

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

“In just a few years my dear, young Latinas will look up at their screens with hope in their eyes and say, “I want to be like Gina Rodriguez.” Come to think of it, I think they already do.”

But hearing it come out of Moreno’s “West Side Story,” beloved abuelita mouth makes it real.

CREDIT: @kurnpineda / Twitter

I think we literally posted the same exact response. Hundreds of Latinos have commented, “estoy llorando.” Probably 80 percent of Puerto Ricans are crying in this moment.

Now we’re wishing Moreno was our fake abuelita…

CREDIT: @netflix / Twitter

In Gina’s love letter, she said,

“You gave me hope, you gave me a reason to fight and to speak up you gave me a voice and how can I thank you? I’m not sure I know how but I can tell you this: when you followed your dreams Rita, you gave me the allowance to follow mine”

In a world that feels like a dumpster fire, this is “the most important and beautiful thing” we could witness today.

CREDIT: @CallmeKarnstein / Twitter

We are so grateful to be alive during a time when there are more Latinos being given opportunities to play someone other than a maid or drug lord in the industry. #MásAbuelitas

We are especially grateful that there’s such a need for abuelas in entertainment right now.

CREDIT: @latinasmoak @HedwigReads / Twitter

The fact that Moreno will forever give abuelitas everywhere their shining spotlight on “One Day at a Time” and “Jane the Virgin,” is life-giving.

Some folks said they would even continue the tradition Rodriguez’s mom started by showing Moreno’s movies to their daughter.

CREDIT: @NY2CO22 @MonaLovesYa / Twitter

And, so I lay a request to the Puerto Rican people: let this be a state-wide tradition. Our daughter grow up knowing Rita Moreno. Just keep rewatching Jane the Virgin, it’s not hard.

What we all agree on: Rita Moreno is #MyPresident ????????

CREDIT: @laempanana @netflix / Twitter

And we are all her First Lady. May you never, ever, leave us, Moreno. May we all achieve our dreams and receive similar love letters from you. Te quiero mucho y bendiciones. ????????

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A Human Rights Attorney Is Being Accused Of Falsely Posing As A Latina During Her Career

Culture

A Human Rights Attorney Is Being Accused Of Falsely Posing As A Latina During Her Career

¡Voice Latina! / YouTube

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is the outgoing president of the National Lawyers Guild and her departure has taken a sudden turn. After years as an attorney, many are now accusing the attorney of posing as a Latina.

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan is facing mounting scrutiny and backlash for her claims that she is Latina.

According to a post on Prism, Bannan has a history of claiming her Latinidad. The post points out several interviews the attorney has given over the years with different publications where she explicitly claims that she is part of the Latino community. In one YouTube video with ¡Voice Latina!, Bannan explicitly says that “as a woman, as an individual, as a Latina” she is inspired to do the work she does because of her hero Oscar López Rivera.

People are calling on others to do better about who they choose to represent various communities.

Representation matters, especially when it comes to the issues that are facing our various communities. It is important to make sure that the representation reflects those being represented. According to Prism, Bannan has been pushing a narrative that she is of Puerto Rican and Colombian heritage for over a decade. She has even spoken out as a Puerto Rican woman that is fighting for the island’s statehood.

There are multiple media moments when Bannan claimed Latino heritage, according to reports.

Prism points to an interview conducted in 2007 where she allegedly told “El Diario” that her heritage was “a little bit Spanish, a little bit Colombian, and a Sephardic Jew.”

“I am racially white, and have always said that. However my cultural identity was formed as a result of my family, both chosen and chosen for me, and that has always been Latinx,” Bannan wrote on Facebook Monday following the story. “My identity is my most authentic expression of who I am and how I pay honor to the people who have formed me since I was a child.”

The story is garnering so much attention because of Hilaria Baldwin and her claims of being Spanish.

Baldwin misled people into believing that she was of Spanish descent when she was a white woman born in Boston. Prism was able to decipher that Bannan is a white woman born in Georgia whose family immigrated from Ireland, Italy, and Russia.

READ: Why Do People Care If Hilaria Baldwin’s Spanish Accent Is Fake Or Not, Anyway?

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‘One Day At a Time’ Has Been Canceled (Again)

Entertainment

‘One Day At a Time’ Has Been Canceled (Again)

Photo by Robby Klein/Getty Images

Fan-favorite sitcom “One Day At a Time” has, once again, been canceled. The rebooted show that centered on a Cuban-American family in Los Angeles originally streamed on Netflix and then moved to the Pop network after Netflix pulled the plug in 2019.

But now, Pop has also decided not to renew the series, disappointing fans everywhere.

Like the first time the show was cancelled, viewers took to social media to grieve. “You know how there are only some jokes that only your Latino friends get?,” wrote one Twitter user. “ODAAT was that one show where we got that humor. Like those conversations with each other where we open up about things we can’t even tell our parents. Mental health, identity, etc. It’s so important.”

Just recently, the show’s producers talked about their plans for the upcoming season. “We have so much more to tell, and especially with everything that’s going on in this world, every day, I’m like, oh my gosh, Elena would say this. Elena would say that. Elena would say this. It’s just ripe with things that this family would be talking about,” producer Gloria Calderon Kellett told Deadline. “This family, we have so much for them to go through still.”

Like in the aftermath of the last cancellation, the cast of the series took to social media to kickstart a campaign to keep the show on the air.

“I can and have written essays on how much this show means to me, but it boils down to #RepresentationMatters and man does ODAAT do that for so many, myself included,” Tweeted actress Isabella Gomez, who played rebellious teen Elena Alvarez on the show. “Maybe we can make magic happen again? Tell us why you want the Alvarez family back with #SaveODAAT”.

Back when ODAAT was canceled by Netflix in 2019, the show fans as well as its fans rallied together to make #SaveODAAT trend. Shortly after the hashtag went viral, the show was picked up by Pop. But Pop was acquired by a different company and it seems like ODAAT has become collateral damage in the merger.

Justina Machado also posted her reaction to the news on Instagram.

Machado expressed her sadness at the turn of events, but also remains hopeful that the show will find a third life somewhere else.

“Sadly, the news is out,” she wrote on Instagram. “And we weren’t so much canceled as we were a byproduct of a business model changing at the channel that bought us.”

“I’m not sad just yet, y’all,” she continued. “We still have some hope for new homes. Hang tight, my loves. You know that if I go down, I will go down swinging for this show (& cast & crew) I love.”

Crossing our fingers that this important show finds the permanent home that it deserves.

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