Entertainment

7 Latino Characters Who are Finally Adding Diversity to TV

It’s taken a long time, but it appears Latino characters are slowly starting to make their way into both network television and streaming online shows. From Gina Rodriguez’s Golden Globe darling Jane Villanueva to Gael Garcia Bernal’s Rodrigo De Souza, here are some of the Latino TV characters making us proud.

Jane Villanueva of Jane the Virgin (Gina Rodriguez)

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Laurel Castillo of How to Get Away with Murder (Karla Souza)

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Rodrigo de Souza of Mozart in the Jungle (Gael García Bernal)

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CREDIT: Mozart in the Jungle / Amazon Studios

Gael Garcia Bernal’s character Rodrigo De Souza, an eccentric conductor trying to keep the magic of symphony orchestra alive, is based off the real-life Latino conductor who is bringing the joy of classical music to thousands: Gustavo Dudamel.  So it was a double ? ? that Gael won a Golden Globe for his performance! A real “si se puede” moment.

READ: 7 Unforgettable Moments by Latinos at the Golden Globes

Alonzo Gutierrez of American Crime (Benito Martinez)

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CREDIT: American Crime / ABC

The first season of this ABC network show featured several Latino characters. However, we couldn’t be particularly proud of them since they were having run-ins with the law. Benito Martinez’s character, Alonzo Gutiérrez, stood out from the bunch though as the hardworking and dedicated father of character Tony.

Daya of Orange is the New Black (Dascha Polanco)

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Chava of Club de Cuervos (Luis Gerardo Méndez)

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CREDIT: Club de Cuervos / Netflix US & Canada

Netflix made the push into Latin America by premiering its first Spanish-language series, Club de Cuervos. The comedy stars Luis Gerardo Méndez as Chava, a spoiled party boy who inherits his late father’s club soccer team. Despite having more experience partying with players than managing a huge corporation, Chava swears he has ALL the right answers (spoilers: he doesn’t). Futbol and #Netflixandchill? We’re in!

Harlee Santos of Shades of Blue (Jennifer Lopez)

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CREDIT: Shades of Blue / NBC

J.Lo is back on the small screen, everyone!!!  This time, as tough NY detective Harlee Santos. After years of doing not-quite-by-the-book police work, Santos has to do whatever it takes to protect her family. We know Jenny from the Block kicks ass in real life (fashion, live dance routines, being a fierce #cougar), and now we’re excited to see her do it on TV.

Did we miss any of your favorite Latino TV characters? Let us know in the comments below!

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Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Entertainment

Latina Actresses Are Pivoting to Directing and Producing In Order to Get More Latinx Stories Told

Credit: EVALONGORIA/AMERICAFERRERA/INSTAGRAM ; KEVIN WINTER/GETTY

The numbers are bleak. Latinos make up 18% of America’s population but only 5% of the number of speaking roles in movies in 2019 according to the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Hollywood seems to be late to the party when it comes to Latino representation onscreen. But luckily, there are a handful of Latino artists and creators out there who are taking the fight to appear in front of the screen to behind the camera.

Take, for example, Eva Longoria, who was just announced to be directing and co-starring in the new action-comedy film, “Spa Day”

This marks the third movie the Mexican-American actress will be helming and the first Latina to ever direct more than one major studio film.

The other films on Longoria’s roster include a vehicle for her and Kerry Washington tentatively titled “24/7”, as well as the upcoming biopic “Flamin’ Hot”–a movie centered around Richard Montañez, the man who invented Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Longoria has been candid about how the decision to move into directing and producing has been a strategic one.

“One of the reasons I went into producing and directing was I wasn’t going to sit back and wait for somebody to create a role I wanted to do,” Longoria told Variety in 2018.

“You can’t just sit around waiting for [good projects], and I wanted to create that — not just for myself but for other Latinas.”

But her career transition isn’t unique as a Latina in Hollywood. She has joined the ranks of other Latinas in Hollywood who have began to produce and direct their own projects in order to finally see Latino stories told on screen.

Her peers include Jennifer Lopez (“Shades of Blue“, “Hustlers“), Selena Gomez (“Living Undocumented“), America Ferrera (“Gentefied“, “Superstore“), Gina Rodriguez (“Diary of an American President,” “Carmen San Diego“), and Salma Hayek (“Ugly Betty”).

All of these women have thrown their weight behind projects that otherwise wouldn’t be made if their names weren’t attached to them.

All of these women are creating stories that feature Latino stories and Latino talent–in front of and behind the camera.

America Ferrera explained the reason behind her conscious career pivot from acting to directing/producing: “My genuine heart’s desire is to tell stories that haven’t been told,” she told CBS This Morning. “It’s hard to get stories about people like us made. And then to get those stories told by us is very very uncommon.”

Although the endgame is to have Latinx stories greenlit without having to first be a famous singer or actress, the work these ladies are doing might be laying the foundation for an easier road for future industry players of Latino descent. Or as Longoria so eloquently put it: “If we unite and create opportunities for each other and pull each other up, there could be a lot more success for representation on TV.”

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Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

Entertainment

Latinas Shared The Movies And Shows That Made Them Feel Seen

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It’s no secret that over the past few decades, people of color worked to fight for equal representation on screens both big and small. While, of course, there have been great POC and LGTBQ relationships on television there’s really been a spike in the spectrum of representation since our early years watching television and learning about relationships.

Recently, we asked Latinas on Instagram what shows and movies featured their favorite most diverse couples.

And the answers threw us for a time loop!

Check them out below!


“Maria and Luis on Sesame Street.”- melissa_phillips71


“Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner is The Bodyguard, they reminded me of my parents and they loved to play the soundtrack.” –millenialmarta


“The leads in Someone Great, Jane and Michael the virgin and the lesbian relationship Gentrified. It’s been 30 years and I finally found characters I can relate to.” –allyss_abyss_

“Most definitely, “Brooklyn 99”: two female Hispanics as regulars and a white person playing a Hispanic (Andy Samberg’s character’s last name is Peralta, which is a Spanish surname).” – seadra2011

“Holt and Kevin(and Rosa Diaz) have changed the way people have perceived gay couples and gay people. Nine Nine!” –chaoticbiguy


“The first on-screen presence that made me feel seen/represented period was @justinamachado ‘s character on One Day At A Time. A Latina veteran struggling with her mental health while trying to juggle school, work, love, and family? And as a main character? Whew….“-vieja.metiche

“Taína! It was on Disney if I remember correctly?? Then @americaferrera in sisterhood of the traveling pants as Carmen. 😭❤️ her life was like mine. Growing up in suburbs but never really having a place culturally.. but my girlfriends still had my back no matter our background.” –chessy__a

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