Things That Matter

Where Are The Latina Directors?

The Alice Initiative, an effort launched by a group of female film executives to shed a spotlight on emerging female talent behind the camera, has shared its list of 30 female filmmakers on the rise. Woo hoo!  All the women on the list are talented, buzz-worthy, and telling innovative stories.

And yet…

Where are the Latina directors?

Of the 30 women listed, it appears that only Melina Matsoukas (she’s directed music videos for the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna, made the much-anticipated pilot for HBO’s “Insecure” with Issa Rae), who is of Cuban descent, has a Latinx background. (Of course, if we missed someone else, let us know!) And one person out of a list of 30 is OK, but…

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Credit: Disney

The truth is, Hollywood remains overwhelmingly non-Latinx, white and male.

This was mostly recently evidence by USC Annenberg’s 2015 Media, Diversity & Social Change  report, as parsed by THR:

Only 14 of 2015’s top movies had a lead or co-lead from the underrepresented groups. Nine were black, one Latino and four of mixed race. Not one lead or co-lead was played by an Asian actor. Seventeen percent of the films did not feature one black or African-American. Asian actors did not appear across 49 of the films.

And things don’t get any better behind the camera:

Behind the camera, of 1,365 key creatives who worked on the top films of 2015, the numbers were stark. There were eight female directors (7.5 percent); 30 female writers (11.8 percent), 220 female producers (22 percent) and just one female composer.

Among the 800 films surveyed since 2007, female directors numbered just 4.1 percent of those hired. And of those, only three were black or African-American and just one was Asian.

Plus, when you consider that of the few roles offered to Latinx, most are based on stereotypes, the need for not only more, but better Latinx representation, stories and viewpoints becomes all the more urgent.

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Credit: NBC

It takes only a quick look at the U.S.’s demographics to see why Latinx representation in front of and behind the camera is important. According to the Pew Research Center, Latinx, as of 2014 there are 55.3 million of us in the United States, or 17.3% percent of the U.S. population. Not only that, but we’re super young, and thus will outlive everyone else until we inherit the entire globe, fulfilling the prophecy. (Just “kidding.”)

Put another way: Latinx are 17.3% of the population in this country. Having one director of Latinx descent on a list of 30 equals 3.33%. It’s simply not enough.

We can hear the question now:

“So why don’t you make your own list of Latinx directors, Mitú?”

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Credit: Andrew Walker / Vimeo, via Gizmodo
  1. We totally did.
  2. The reality is, change cannot possibly be made if only Latinx outlets (like yours truly) champion Latinx artists. It is possible to be a Latinx who does not necessarily or solely seek out Latinx-specific stories, and it is possible for a story that deals with specifically Latinx themes, experiences and cultural touch points to be covered, shared, crtiqued, and heralded by non-Latinx. No meaningful change can be made if the work of seeking out and supporting Latinx artists is kept within an echo chamber.

So make things. And tell people about the great things you make. Tell people about the things other Latinx make that you enjoy. And hold people accountable when they don’t do the work of championing Latinx talent.


READ: These 2 Latinas Run Hollywood, Can Run The World

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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

Nickelodeon

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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‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Entertainment

‘The Tax Collector’ Director Denies That Shia LeBeouf Is In Brownface

Phillip Faraone / Getty Images

Shia LeBeouf is in the new movie “The Tax Collector” and people are accusing him of brownface for this role. The actor takes on the accent for the role and got a chest tattoo to do the role authentically. For some, it is cultural appropriation and it has started a debate.

Shia LeBeouf is the man in “The Tax Collector” and people have questions.

The pulse-pounding trailer has all of the action you can handle so you can only imagine what the full movie is like. The movie is all about the tax collector having to fight to protect his family when a rival takes over his turf. LeBeouf is ready to do whatever it takes to save his family.

Some people are very upset about the role for LeBeouf.

The tattoos and the accent are too much for people. Some have argued that the role was not at all a way of cultural appropriation. Instead, LeBeouf is playing a white role that happens to have grown up in a neighborhood where he picked up the accent and a certain way of dress.

The argument is going both ways with people fighting to defend him.

While the role could be really problematic for some, others see themselves reflected in it. There are many people defending LeBeouf because they too grow up in a neighborhood and took on the culture of the neighborhood.

The director of the film, David Ayer, spoke out saying that LeBeouf is not in brownface.

“He’s a white guy playing a white guy. He’s not taking anyone’s work away,” Ayer told the LA Times to calm the critics.

What do you think?

READ: Bon Appétit Editor Adam Rapoport Resigns Over Brownface Scandal

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