We’re all tired, I know, of feeling like we’re the only ones who discuss Latinx representation, and the lack thereof, in Hollywood and across media in general. We’ve been bringing it up since our meetings in… let me see here… 1932, before we were even calling out gathering The Very Official Meetings of Latinx.
So let’s change tactics. Let’s create an actual, actionable plan on how to tackle this shit.
It’s not enough for everyone, from an executive to a casting director, to simply say “we couldn’t find” Latinx. You’re not looking hard enough, then. Look harder. Ask around. Make the effort. Look at how SNL hired Latinx talent (both in front of and behind the camera) from within Broadway Video’s Latinx-focused site, Más Mejor.
Pass the mic.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply have Latinx around (this is the difference between diversity and inclusion.) Don’t leave it to non-Latinx to speak on behalf of Latinx when there’s the opportunity to pass the mic along to people who can speak genuinely about their own experiences, from the writers’ room outward.
Hold the door open.
It is truly up to Latinx to champion their fellow Latinx. Time has proven that we can’t rely on others to do it for us. Leave the door open behind you so that others may enter.
Take a two-prong approach to representation.
It is important to hire and cast Latinx to tell specifically Latinx stories (like “East Los High“), as well as to allow Latinx to simply exist as people within the worlds created in television and movies (like Santiago and Rosa in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine“).
Vote with your money.
Latinx over-index pretty much across the board when it comes to media consumption. Which means we’re spending a ton of money on this stuff. Which means we’re paying for content that continues to represent us 1) barely and 2) stereotypically. Think about the projects and ideas you want to fund with your hard-earned cash, both when it comes to Hollywood blockbusters and crowd-sourced indie projects.
These are by no means mandates or the only means we have of making a difference, but it’s a start. And with that, this meeting is adjourned. Please meet us for hot dogs on white bread out on the patio. Thank you.
Time for a serious question: what makes a celebrity, a celebrity? How do they know they’ve made it? Is it by appearing in the tabloids for the first time? Or is it by winning industry awards? Or, maybe it’s to do with the amount of number of Insta followers they have?
Nah, it’s not any of those things. A celeb knows they’ve made it once they get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! So, we’ve put together a list of 20 latino celebrities that have got a real, bona fide star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You know, for the next time you’re playing Trivial Pursuit. Or when you wanna impress your Tinder date.
Xtina got her name emblazoned on the Hollywood Walk of Fame back in 2010, having been awarded a Star of Recording. While she’s got plenty of reasons to have been selected for the honor, at the time of the award, Christina had gotten four number one singles on the Billboard’s Hottest 100 chart, won five Grammys, and sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
Our girl Selena Quintanilla was awarded her Star of Recording only as recently as 2017! Since it was awarded posthumously, Selena’s family attended the ceremony, while her sister helped design the star itself. There’s no doubt that Selena was deserving. Her accomplishments include winning the Female Vocalist of the Year at the Tejano Music Awards for nineyearsin row, as well as being recognized as Billboard Magazine’s “Top Latin artist of the ‘90s”, “Best selling Latin artist of the decade,” and charted in 2016 as the “Top Latin Album of the Year, Female Artist.”
While Guillermo del Toro only received his star recently, it’s been a long time coming. His most recently released film, “The Shape of Water,” alone went onto win Golden Globes, BAFTAs, DGA, PGA and Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score and Best Production Design.
Even though Antonio Banderas received his star in 2005 for his achievements in film, that doesn’t mean that he’s not multitalented! He’s known for his acting, directing, producing and singing skills. Fun fact: Antonio Banderas holds the record for the highest salary for an extra, for the part he played in “Gladiator,” where he was paid $50,000. Nice.
Having received her Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1983 for her talents as a recording artist, Gloria Estefan is definitely a legend in her own right. She has won seven Grammy Awards and is in the top 100 best selling music artists of all time, with over 90 million albums sold worldwide.
Despite the fact that Shakira’s full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, she’s one of the few celebrities awarded with a star on the Walk of Fame that only has one name engraved on the star! 2011 was the year that she was formally recognized for her contributions to the music industry. She’s accrued 12 Billboard Latin Music Awards, seven Latin Grammy Awards and two Grammys over the years for her bangers, which include “Whenever, Wherever,” “Hips Don’t Lie,” and “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa).”
Andy García’s star for his acting abilities was awarded to him back in 1995. Having been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his part in “The Godfather Part III”, we’d probably know him better for the part he played in “Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve,” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
8. Luis Miguel
Alright, so we were all in diapers when Luis Miguel got this award back in 1996, but his mariachis and boleros have lived on. He received 5 Grammy Awards by the time he hit 26. That’s estrella material right there.
Carlos Santana counts more than just a star of recording on the Hollywood Walk of Fame among his accolades. Rolling Stone name him number 15 on their list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003. In addition, Santana’s also won 3 Latin Grammy Awards and 10 Grammys.
Entertainment trade papers have named Sofia Vergara one of the most talented and powerful women in Hispanic entertainment, and for good reason. Her star in television, which was awarded in 2015, comes as no surprise when looking at her expansive acting career, retail lines, producing roles, successful Hispanic management agency and philanthropic endeavors.
Armando Christian Perez, or as we know him, Pitbull, received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for recording in 2016. Between his number one hits in over 15 countries, nine billion followers between his Youtube and VEVO channels, 70 million single sales and six million album sales, you’ve probably heard his name somewhere before.
After jiving away to number one hits such as “Maria” and “La Copa de la Vida,” there’s no way we’d forgive you if you said you didn’t know Ricky Martin. His star on the Walk of Fame for recording came to him a year after he was nominated as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People Magazine in 2006. Which is fair – he’s an absolute babe.
2018 was the year that Zoe Saldana was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to motion pictures. While you know her from movies such as “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Star Trek: Beyond,” and “Avatar,” you probably don’t know that she’s also launched digital platform “BESE” to shed a light on Latino stories in America.
Eva Longoria also received her star on the Walk of Fame in 2018, for her influence in television. She’s best known for her role as Gabrielle Solis in “Desperate Housewives,” which was the most popular show in its demographic, worldwide. It aired in 208 countries, with an audience of 120 million views. Imagine having that many people watching you on television every week!
15. George López
Get this: The comedian we all know and love said, “I remember being 15, and walking up and down (the Walk of Fame) and dreaming about what I wanted to do and never thinking it was going to be done,” said the star.
She’s a four-time Golden Globe nominee, Best Actress of the Year by the New York Film Critics Circle, and has also won an MTV Movie Award, so it’s no wonder Cameron Diaz received a Walk of Fame star for her work in motion pictures in 2009. The biggest shame is the fact that she’s formally retired from acting, as of 2014.
JLo has made a name for herself as an actress, entertainer, music artist, film and television producer, fashion designer, entrepreneur and humanitarian. So which of these do you think landed her the star on the Walk of Fame in 2013? If you thought it was her career as a recording artist, you’d be right! We’re sure it’s only a matter of time before she gets another star for her other work.
She’s the “Queen of Latin Pop” and was honored like a jefe in December 2013. She’s truly a Renaissance woman, selling tens of millions of records, authoring four books and acting in star roles in several telenovelas. You should get a star for each category you star in.
She’s the first, and only, Hispanic actor to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. So, it seems only natural that Rita Moreno received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in motion pictures in 1995, right?
Having recorded more than 20 albums, written more than 300 songs, released eight number one hits, and won multiple Latin Grammys, Marco Antonio Solis definitely deserved his award of a star for recording in 2010.
There are some seriously talented and creative Latinos out there – as we can already see from the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars! Are there any Latinos you’ve wished would be awarded a star already? Let us know on our Facebook page – you can find it by clicking on the logo at the top of the page.
Alerta! This article contains SPOILERS on the final season of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black!
Throughout seven seasons, Orange is the New Black has shown a microcosm of the United States in all its diversity (sexual, political and ethnic). The show led by Jenji Kohan (the mastermind behind Weeds) began airing in 2013 and through seven seasons it told the stories of women from all segments of society.
The inmates of Litchfield Prison represent some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Among them, there are Latinas who have no papers or who come from impoverished backgrounds. Throughout the years we got to understand the Kafkaesque mechanisms through which the industrial incarceration system works and how it profits from disgrace. The show also cast a shadow of doubt over the fairness of the court system and how it is potentially discriminatory towards minorities.
This season is all about ICE detention centers. Remember the beautiful bond between Flaca and Maritza? Well, be ready to [cry in Spanish].
The Vancouver Province, for example, rated the season highly, even though for some viewers season six lost a lot of steam, and it claims that the strength of the season lies in the ICE storyline: “The trickiest storyline, however, belongs to a frightening and undeniably timely one that takes place in an immigrant detention center where women from Central America to the Middle East and beyond are stuck with cocky ICE agents, and without any answers or real hope of getting the better life they were initially seeking.”
Veteran actress Kate Mulgrew, who plays Soviet queen Red, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Using the kitchen as the aperture into ICE and the detention center was such a powerful device. When I walked onto that set I had to stand still and say, ‘Oh, my God. This is what we are doing.’ It’s being reflected for the first time on this show. The creative accountability is great and the creative risk is even greater. She’s got some balls, Jenji Kohan”. Alysia Reiner, who plays former warden Natalie “Fig” Figueroa, expanded in the same roundtable: “I lost it when we were shooting inside the immigration courtroom. We did three takes and I couldn’t stop crying. Our writers told us, “We went to these courtrooms. We didn’t candy-coat this, but this is not as bad as it actually is right now.”
So what happened to our favorite Latinas? Last warning, some SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD!
Maritza Ramos played by Diane Guerrero
Right from season 1 we fell in love with Maritza, the sassy Colombian queen who ended up in prison for her elaborate scams. She is a cornerstone of the last season: her storyline meets reality, as she faces the immigration authorities. In real life, Diane Guerrero’s parents were deported when she was just a girl. Guerrero told The Hollywood Reporter: “The treatment of Maritza’s ending was a portrayal of how people treat deportations — that sentiment that you vanish is true. It’s as if you’ve never existed. Martiza is on that plane to an uncertain life”. Life is stranger than fiction, however, and Maritza’s case is not uncommon in the era of Trump (at whom the scriptwriters take a good amount of jabs).
Gloria Mendoza played by Selenis Leyva
This boricua lady is fierce as it comes (she is played by a Cuban, though, but totally gets that Caribbean sass). She always puts family first, both in and outside prison. She is one of the few characters with a somewhat redemptive ending. Her story strikes true to many Puerto Ricans who are treated as foreigners in their own country. In the last season, we see how Gloria left the island initially to work in New York and provide for her children.
The mother-daughter duo: Aleida and Dyanara Diaz, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez and Dasha Polanco
We learnt so much more about Aleida in the last season. She is a strong Latina who has had to protect herself from handsy men her whole life. She is combative and that leads her back into trouble after her release. The relationship she has with her daughter Dayanara is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
Dayanara ended up all Scarface: running the prison with an iron fist. Or did she? (yes, we are giving you some spoilers, but no details here, no se espanten). Daya is the perfect example of how a twisted family can lead to an endless spiral of violence.
Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales played by Jackie Cruz
A cute and sometimes naive chola who is put in prison for drug fraud. She has a sisterly bond with Maritza. She is the typical inmate who ends up behind bars for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We leave her truly seeking redemption. The actress that plays her, Jackie Cruz, is a proud Dominican who is unafraid to speak about the biases in Hollywood. She told Elle about the roles that are available for actresses like her: “Lately, it’s been better. Well, the roles are still a little white-washed, but they’re better. It’s what a white person would think of a Latina. A white person writing for a Latina. For example, they don’t know that Dominicans don’t eat Chimichangas”.
Blanca played by Laura Gomez
Her scenes in the immigration court are heartbreaking. In this microcosm, we get to see what hundreds of migrant women are going through, being separated from their children in some cases and facing deportation to a country they barely remember in others. Gomez told Digital Spy: “That was such a twist for everybody, myself included, and I could never have imagined that it was going to feel so emotional for people. The response on social media to this was devastating. Because we’re living this in real-time, it’s not like we’re telling a story in the past… It should be a story that isn’t happening”. Her story is very accurate, according to reports, particularly in how advocacy groups such as Freedom for Immigrants have been targeted by ICE and seen their advocacy efforts sabotaged. As a representative of the organization told In Style: “In 2013, ICE shut down three visitation programs that we were affiliated with, in response to a Huffington Post blog we wrote. Our personal cell phone numbers also have been blocked at various points in time from immigrant jails and prisons. And while we have continued to offer free phone calls to people in detention thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are still fighting to get our hotline restored”
Maria Ruiz played by Jessica Pimentel
The Dominican freedom fighter! Her dad was an activist and she finds herself being angry at life for most of the show. She was pregnant when she was incarcerated and has a thorny relationship with her baby’s dad, who is taking care of little Pepa while Maria is in prison. Her crime: selling fake jeans. Yes, really.