Culture

These Filmmakers Are Fed Up With How TV Kills Off Queer Characters

“If you’re a queer woman, chances are you underwent a great loss this year,” filmmaker Cole Santiago tells us, observing at the tombstone of the [*SPOILER ALERT even though I’m pretty sure we all binge-watched OITNB already*] late, great Poussey Washington. She adds that, in 2016 alone, 18 female queer characters have been killed off on television.

Indeed, the “Bury Your Gays” trope has been a particular topic of conversation this year, following not only the aforementioned death of Poussey, but also the controversial death of The 100‘s Lexa. Fans’ disappointment and frustration over the character’s death even prompted the series showrunner and executive producer, Jason Rothenberg, to publish an open letter, assuring viewers that “burying, baiting or hurting anyone was never our intention. It’s not who I am.”

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Credit: CW

This ongoing theme of unhappy endings (and, you know, death) for queer characters also prompted Autostraddle to release a comprehensive set of infographics detailing queer representation in media, with a focus on lesbian and bisexual television characters. Take a look; it’s worth your time.

And while there have been queer female characters on television (Remezcla has a pretty thorough list), there are few series ABOUT these characters. They rarely get the A story, and even more rarely “get the girl” at the end.

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Credit: ABC

And, thus, Vida.

Vida‘s team is unique in media–a female cast and crew, most of whom are Latinx–and the story they have to tell is an innately personal one. “Growing up as a closeted teenager,” Santiago explains on the project’s Seed & Spark page, “too scared to reach out, the only safe route to better understand my feelings came in the form of film and television.” The project, conceived as a short film and potential pilot, follows Vida, a quiet 17-year-old girl dealing with a roommate who wants to become Instagram famous. Vida’s life is uprooted by “a Courtney Love-obsessed lesbian vampire” and… I mean, that’s all I need to know to want to tune in.

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Credit: WB

Vida‘s fundraising page keeps things nicely on-theme, with fundraising goals named after popular queer (or queered, in some cases) characters. For example, if you pitch in 50 bucks, you reach Drusilla level, and a member of the crew will be slimed with a bucket of blood in your honor, with video proof. Mwahaha!

Take a look at Vida‘s teaser video, below, and help #ressurectourgays:

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Kevin Hart Backs Ellen DeGeneres Despite The Fact That Fans Canceled His Opinion A Long Time Ago

Entertainment

Kevin Hart Backs Ellen DeGeneres Despite The Fact That Fans Canceled His Opinion A Long Time Ago

Christopher Polk / Getty

In 2019, comedian and actor Kevin Hart received a torrential downpour of heat from fans after a series of homophobic tweets and jokes he’d made in the past had been recovered and publicized. As a result, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ousted him from his position as host of the Oscars that year and fans demanded that he issue a mea culpa. After a day, Hart tweeted an apology to the LGBTQ community but later announced that he was reconsidering stepping down as host after comedian Ellen DeGeneres expressed support for Hart to do so. At the time, DeGeneres defended Hart and called the Academy to rally for Hart to be able to host again.

Around that time, DeGeneres also hosted Hart on her show and urged him to ignore the backlash he’d received. At the time, DeGeneres dismissed his critics as “haters.”

Now it seems that Hart feels that it’s his turn to defend DeGeneres.

In the wake of allegations and criticism about the show’s toxic workplace culture as well as DeGeneres’s role in facilitating it, Hart took to Instagram on Tuesday to say that he will love the comedian “for life.”

“It’s crazy to see my friend go thru what she’s going thru publicly,” the actor wrote in a post featuring the two stars smiling together on her show. “I have known Ellen for years and I can honestly say that she’s one of the dopest people on the f—— planet. She has treated my family and team with love and respect from day 1.”

“The internet has become a crazy world of negativity… we are falling in love with people’s downfall. It’s honestly sad..” Hart continued. “When did we get here? I stand by the ones I know and that I love. Looking forward to future where we are back to loving one another… this hate s*** has to stop. Hopefully, it goes out of style soon…”

Hart finished his post writing that he does not mean “to disregard the feelings of others and their experiences.”

Hart continued writing that the point of his message is “simply to show what my experiences have been with my friend. Love you for life Ellen.”

Last week, DeGeneres addressed allegations about her show and apologized. “My name is on the show and everything we do and I take responsibility for that,” she explained. “Alongside Warner Bros, we immediately began an internal investigation and we are taking steps, together, to correct the issues. As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t. That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.”

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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

Rachel Luna / Getty Images

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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