Culture

Latinos Try Soul Food

“I think that was an earlobe.”

Latinos conquer chitlins, collard greens and oxtail for the first time. Guess which one’s a unanimous hit and which puts their gag reflexes to work.

Watch: Black Dudes Try Menudo

Share the laughs on Facebook and Twitter!

Is Jennifer Lopez Really The Only Latina To Be Featured On Screen In The The Past Few Years?

Entertainment

Is Jennifer Lopez Really The Only Latina To Be Featured On Screen In The The Past Few Years?

You would think since Latinos have one of the highest moviegoing rates in the United States, we’d see more of our lives and communities reflected on Hollywood’s big screen. However, that’s far from being the case. According to a report released last year by the Motion Picture Association of America, Hispanic-Latino filmgoers went to the movies an average of 4.5 times in 2017. 

Even then, a new study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that was published this week, shows that Latinx representation in film is significantly lagging. 

There’s something inherently wrong when the Latinx community, who represents 18% of the total U.S. population and 24% of frequent moviegoers, is nearly shut out from the big screen.

In partnership with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment, USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released the report, titled Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies. The report looked at the 1,200 top titles at the box office from 2007 to 2018 as well as about 47,268 Spanish speaking or named characters. 

One of the report’s biggest findings, however, was that within that time frame, only two Latina lead roles were played by an actor over 45. Both were the multi-hyphenate Jennifer Lopez, and with her upcoming role in Hustlers, she’ll be breaking her own record. 

While the study by Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative mainly focuses on the state of Latinx representation in the past decade of Latinos working on screen and behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors, it also focuses on how underrepresentation and stereotyping “are the hallmarks of Latino portrayers in popular movies.” 

(Photo Credit: NALIP/USC Annenberg/Wise Entertainment)

The study found that in the 12 year research period, 4.5% of all speaking or named characters were Latino, but only 3% were leads or co-leads. More findings included that in the films that were studied, 4% had a Latino director and most of those filmmakers (71% to be exact) were from outside of the U.S. And that’s not the shocking part. Out of 1,335 directors, only one of those was a Latina woman. Among producers, only 3% were Latino. 

Latinx filmmakers, creators, and actors took to Twitter to express their frustrations over the findings of the study.

One Day At A Time co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett called upon Hollywood to increase the inclusion of the Latinx community by “demanding a 20% increase in representation both in front and behind the camera.” 

A Twitter user replied to the One Day at A Time co-showrunner and shared how joyous she feels when she sees Latinx folks credited in the acting and also production roles.

The Twitter user also added that we need more stories from more than one Latinx point of view as well and that “casting needs to diversify as well, since we come in all shades, hair textures, etc.” 

Actor, producer, and director Eva Longoria also took to her Instagram to comment on the story, she said: “Only 1 Latina directed a top film over 12 years & 1,200 movies. Studios, why are you erasing Latinas?”

In her caption, she also noted that Latinas are leading as grassroots organizations in many different fields but even then, Hollywood fails to notice their talent and potential. 

Latinx Actress Dani Fernandez brought up another important point that we fail to outwardly discuss and that’s agents and acting coaches allegedly telling white actors to change their last name to a Latinx sounding one. 

Twitter user Benita Robledo replied to Fernandez’s tweet and recalled a time when someone she knew told her they’d been thinking of changing their name because being “Latina is so so big rn.” 

Film critic Alonso Duralde further drove the point home about Latinx people playing a huge part of the moviegoing demo, yet still continued to be overlooked by Hollywood. 

“But studios insist on leaving this particular money on the table,” he added. 

Superstore actor America Ferrera also took to Instagram to express her thoughts on the study and its findings. 

“It’s easier to accept the mistreatment and dehumanization of Latinx people when they are invisible in our culture,” Ferrera wrote in her caption. Like Longoria, Ferrera demand that Hollywood take responsibility for the “stories you reinforce & perpetuate.” 

We hope this report shakes things up and causes Hollywood to really look closely at how it not only portrays but also casts Latinx actors, directors, and producers in the future. 

Of the report’s findings, Dr. Stacy L. Smith said in a statement that “at a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety, we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment.” 

These Wild Taco Creations Have Us Feeling All Sorts Of Ways But Mostly Confused

Culture

These Wild Taco Creations Have Us Feeling All Sorts Of Ways But Mostly Confused

Extra Crispy

So far, this year has absolutely been the year of trying new things. America is getting creative, from racist promposals to straight up hate crimes. Thankfully, the foodies of America are getting creative in more benign ways. Whether we’re just exhausted from a long day of bigotry and want to feed our souls with new takes on old classics, or you’re of the group that finds it refreshing to tackle cultural appropriation via food, America loves tacos.

Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, here are the most bizarre tacos that have fueled America through 2019:

This New York City eatery started selling “Cheeseburger Tacos.”

Credit: @Insider / Twitter

An upscale taquería called Empellón Al Pastor decided to sell a “cheeseburger taco” and the Internet had opinions. Twitter user Ludvik Herrera saw a bastardization of tacos de picadillo and tweeted, “somebody should tell him he’s doing tacos de picadillo wrong, just bland….”

Then, Burger King thought they could make tacos happen.

Credit: @PABUrAmazin / Twitter

America was riveted when they saw Burger King advertising tacos. Anyone who thinks tacos are easy to make are just setting themselves up. Some folks really wanted to like the tacos, but still felt the need to publish a public service announcement about this crime against humanity.

Remember when The New York Times promoted these Broccoli and Egg Tacos, and Mexican Twitter had an uprising?

Credit: @nytimes / Twitter

“These tacos are packed with nutrient-dense broccoli and comforting potatoes for a satisfying meal that comes together in just 45 minutes,” the outlet tweeted. Immediately, Internet Mexicans needed answers. Like @DiegoBernalTX who had a few points to make:

“1. These aren’t tacos.
2. There’s nothing comforting about them.
3. No taco should take 45 min.
The entire taco truck economy would collapse. Can you imagine?!?!”

Nobody’s mad at this blogger’s rendition of a tortilla.

There’s nothing like leftover arroz with a fried egg on top to start the day. Maybe it’s time to surprise your mama with your own version. You’ll want to use a pastry ring in the pan to make sure it stays in a perfect taco shell circle. 

This Sushi Taco is fusion at its finest.

Credit: @chuckxmartin / Twitter

As crazy as it sounds, tofu skin is actually quite delicious, and it also makes for a great imitation taco shell. Just stuff with your favorite traditional fish and top with chipotle mayo. Get as creative as you’d like for these–it will all taste good.

Or this blogger’s use of chicken skin to make taco tortillas.

Here’s how you take a chicken leg and turn it into chicken skin taco shells. 

  1. Just gently peel the skin off of a chicken thigh and blanch in boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Then, cut the chicken skin with a circle cutter.
  3. Get out your taco shell molds and deep fry for 6-10 minutes.
  4. Let cool and stuff!

Plantain shell tacos are calling your name, mija.

Plátanos have served as the edible utensil of Caribbean folks since forever. There’s nothing like bringing Central American Latinos and Island Latinos together with plantain shell tacos.  🤤

Dessert tacos officially have no rules.

It’s the easiest taco you could ever possibly make and is guaranteed to taste good. Just toast a frozen waffle, stuff it with vanilla rice milk ice cream and dust with cinnamon and you’ve got a variation of arroz con leche. 

And then there were Cookie Tacos.

It looks like its savory but everything about it is so, so sweet. Just cut golden Oreos in half , stuff with chocolate Oreo crumbles, top with shredded coconut (iceberg lettuce) and hot tamale candies (cherry tomatoes).

If you want to get really fancy, just melt peanut butter chips and vanilla frosting as glue for the “carne.” The cheese that you see is actually just chopped up starburst. You can’t say it ain’t creative.