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People Are Calling For A Boycott Of Paramount Studios Because Of Their Severe Lack Of Latino Representation

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Latino leaders are calling for a boycott of Paramount Studios, singling out the company for an industry-wide lack of Latino representation in movies. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) organized the boycott after it conducted its own study and reviewed UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report.” The NHMC announced that, in partnership with the National Latino Media Council, it would “target Paramount Pictures for their lack of Latino actors, writers, and directors,” which includes a social media campaign, demonstrations and a general boycott of upcoming Paramount films. The studio is being boycotted because it has a failed track record to include Latino talent both in front and behind the camera in recent years.

Twenty of Paramount’s 100 top-grossing films in 2016-17 had seven Latinos out of 160 of the top eight credited actors, one Latino director and zero Latino writers.

NHMC’s President & CEO Alex Nogales said that for years the number of Latinos in Paramount films has gone down and the lack of representation is being felt beyond just movies.

“A UCLA study was released this year on the numbers of Latinos being featured in films and the numbers sickened me,” Nogales said. “If it isn’t that we’re criminals or rapists its something else. If you don’t see yourself on film and television these impressions stick. We’re the most vulnerable in our country right now.”

Nogales’s goal is to persuade the studio to agree to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with various organizations outlining how Paramount can improve inclusivity in its films. NHMC and NLMC met with Paramount COO Andrew Gumpert in June to discuss a potential MOU. According to the NHMC, Gumpert told Nogales three weeks later that he would not sign the MOU.

Despite buying 24 percent of all tickets sold between 2007 and 2016, Latino actors only appeared in 3.1 percent of the speaking roles in front of camera.

Nogales says the NHMC already has MOU’s with studios like ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX that are willing to work with organizations to improve inclusivity. When asked about how he felt when Paramount didn’t agree to the MOU he said it didn’t come as a surprise and was prepared to boycott the studio.

“I thought we were closer to doing a deal but we were prepared also to take on the studio,” Nogales said. “If they’re not going to work with us we’re gonna boycott their products and their films. We are going to harm their bottom line period.”

The studio boycott follows NHMC’s protests against the Oscars last winter, when Nogales told The Hollywood Reporter that the Academy Awards would be the first of “increasingly aggressive wake-up calls to Hollywood studios to end institutionalized racism against Latinos.”

Paramount issued a statement about the boycott saying they are still trying to “build and strengthen relationships with the Latinx creative community further.”

“We recently met with NHMC in a good faith effort to see how we could partner as we further drive Paramount’s culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging,” a Paramount spokesperson told Deadline. “Under our new leadership team, we continue to make progress — including ensuring representation in front of and behind the camera in upcoming films such as Dora the Explorer, Instant Family, and Limited Partners — and welcome the opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with the Latinx creative community further.”

“I don’t believe it,” Nogales says. “I think it’s all good words but if you don’t have it in writing it really means nothing.”

Both groups are planning a demonstration August 25 in front of Paramount studios to deliver a petition.

They plan to rally in front of Paramount Studios bringing attention to their lack of diversity in their workforce. The groups are currently sharing a petition to have Paramount Studios include more Latinos in their films and will be asking more organizations to sign on. One of the findings from the NHMC poll study revealed that most Latinos “are willing to take action and flex their purchase power by reducing or boycotting altogether movies from studies that lack representation.”

“Half of all respondents (51 percent) would either reduce or stop watching movies from the worst offending studio altogether,” the survey found, and “two out of five Latinos (41 percent) would talk with friends about their concerns.” The poll results showed that “25 percent report being willing to write a letter,” while one in eight (13 percent) said they would be willing to protest.

Nogales believes Latino representation needs to be addressed because of the importance these roles play in how we all view ourselves.

“The studios inaction demonstrate civil rights violations,” Nogales said. “This isn’t rocket science if you have consumer power behind a movement it will pay off. It might not happen today but one day it will.”


READ: Maya Cinemas Is The Latino-Owned Movie Theater Chain Bringing Latino Stories To Underserved Latino Neighborhoods

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The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Entertainment

The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic? You’ve heard all of those terms before, and you have, of course, also heard the arguments that come over their use. Nowadays, many younger generations of Latinx folks decide to opt for “Latinx” because it’s more inclusive but there are still others who haven’t fully accepted or adopted this term in their daily lives. 

Many people who are of Mexican, Argentinian, Cuban, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan (and many other countries!) descent, have a difficult time coming agreeing to one term that everyone can identify as. 

But that’s the point of having different opinions and experiences, so it’s important to learn more about one’s history and also be open to another’s point of view.

Reddit user u/Aldopeck posted a status on the thread r/stupidpol posted about the Daily Show trying to use “Latinx to seem woke to Spanish people. All the Latinos in the comment section react saying ‘Latinx’ is a bullshit term that’s never going to be a thing.” 

Many people have also tried to make sense of whether Latino, Latinx or Hispanic is any “better” or “more inclusive” of a term. For example, last year, Remezcla published an extensive article on a brief but thorough history of how these words originated.  “Through my conversations and research into the background of these terms, it became clear that the origins and evolution of what we call ourselves is as complicated as our history in the United States,” writes Yara Simón for Remezcla on the topic

“We’ll probably never find a perfect term, especially as some prefer to identify as their (or their family’s) country of origin.”

Arturo Castro went on the Daily Show last month to talk to Trevor Noah about his latest sketch show “Alternatino.” In the segment, Castro spoke to Noah about how difficult it was to juggle his characters from “Broad City” and “Narcos.” But he also talked about his heritage and how his experiences as a Latino influence his work. 

“You know, being Latino, everybody sort of expects you to be, like, suave, you know, and really like spicy food or be really good at dancing,” Castro said. “I really like matcha, you know?”

But regardless of his matcha-loving ways, Castro is very intentional about uplifting his community (he’s from Guatemala) and isn’t one to shy away from major issues affecting people of color through his Comedy Central sketch show, “Alternatino.” For example, earlier this week, Comedy Central aired an episode of “Alternatino” that includes a mass-shooting-themed sketch

In “The Daily Show” interview, Noah then asks Castro, “what do you think some of the biggest misconceptions are about being Latino that you’ve come across in America that you try and debunk in the show?” 

To which Castro replies, “Well, you know, there’s this thing about being ultra-violent or being lazy. Like, you know, the most common misconception is about Latino immigrants being lazy. Where I find Latino immigrants to be some of the hardest-working people in the world, right?” 

While Arturo Castro dropped some gems during the interview, notice that his quotes all referred to his community and himself as “Latino”? Well, when The Daily Show shared a promotional post on Facebook about the interview, they used the term “Latinx” and people were not happy about it.

“Arturo Castro pokes fun at Latinx stereotypes on his new sketch series, “Alternatino,” the social team for The Daily Show wrote on Facebook. 

It didn’t take long for the backlash to pop up in the comments section.

Users were quick to comment on the use of the term Latinx, and criticize the show for inserting the word into Castro’s quote.

While the argument about whether one should use Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic is still up in the air, people can’t help but have opinions about it. 

A reddit user argued that “you can’t really say [Latinx] in Spanish. I mean you can ‘Latin-equis’ but nobody does. The whole thing just reeks of white liberal wokeness being imposed on a community of smelly unfortunates. If they’re so concerned with gendered languages why don’t they do the same thing with French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.?” 

But other Facebook commenters weren’t going to let people off the hook for criticizing The Daily Show’s use of “Latinx” in their promotion. 

As one Facebook user pointed out, “not everyone identifies as binary male/female…hence the use of Latinx…it is for people who can’t or won’t identify as either. If you don’t like Latinx then don’t use it…see how simple that was?”

So, what’s it going to be? Latinx, Latino, or Hispanic? This social outrage also begs the question, if someone didn’t refer to themselves as “Latinx,” then should you omit the use of that term completely? Should brands be thinking harder about this before they hit post? 

You tell us! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Robert Clemente’s Jersey Number Hasn’t Been Retired But Latino Players Don’t Wear It Out Of Respect

Entertainment

Robert Clemente’s Jersey Number Hasn’t Been Retired But Latino Players Don’t Wear It Out Of Respect

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Few players have gained the respect and iconic status in baseball like Roberto Clemente have. A 15-time All-Star, 12-time Gold Glove Award winner, two-time World Series champion for the Pittsburgh Pirates and a member of the 3,000-hit club, Clemente has a resume that few can match. Unfortunately, Clemente died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while helping with earthquake relief from his home of Puerto Rico to Nicaragua. A year later he became the first player from Latin America inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. These reasons alone have made Clemente a legend to so many Latino baseball players. It’s also why so many have refused to ever put on his No. 21 ever again out of respect to Clemente.

Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 is the only jersey number retired across baseball, but many Latino players want Clemente’s jersey to get the same honor.

As well as being great on the field, Clemente was an even better person off of it. He was a huge advocate for Latino players and fought against Jim Crow laws during his era. That advocacy is not lost on players today.

This is why the No. 21 has become, in many ways, a “sacred number” in baseball, especially to Puerto Rican players. According to Baseball Reference, out of the 235 Puerto Rico-born players who have appeared in an MLB game since Clemente’s death 47 years ago, only 16 have used the No. 21 — and none in the past five years.

While Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 is retired and celebrated every April 15th, many think the same should happen with Clemente. Coincidentally, Clemente debuted just two days after Robinson did on April 17, 1955.

“His body of work speaks volumes, so I do think that, as Jackie Robinson represents greatness in baseball and so much more, so does Roberto Clemente, particularly for Latinos all over the world,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said at an event last year honoring Clemente. “So I think it’s the right time to retire No. 21.”

While it’s been more 40 years since Clemente’s death, many feel now is a great time to honor him.

Latinos have become a growing force in the major leagues and now make up 30 percent of all baseball players. With this growing presence, many feel now is the right time to make Clemente’s jersey retire across baseball.

Despite multiple campaigns and calls for the retirement of the number, there has been little change on the subject. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has resisted the idea of retiring the number. He says the league already honors his legacy with the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a player who demonstrates the values that Clemente displayed in his community.

While the No. 21 may not be officially retired, Latino baseball players have in their own special way.

While the Pirates are the only team to have officially retired Clemente’s jersey number, players have chosen to honor him in a different way: by choosing not to wear it all together.

Luis Clemente, the son of Roberto Clemente, has a different idea on honoring his father. He has called for not only a number retirement but a patch on the jersey or hat to be worn by the previous year’s Clemente Award winner. While he hasn’t had official talks with MLB about the proposal, there’s no doubt it would receive support among many Latino players.

“No Puerto Ricans will use the number because of Roberto Clemente,” Houston Astros shortstop, Carlos Correa, 24, told the New York Times. “The way I see it: Roberto Clemente is a figure for Latinos just like Jackie Robinson was for African-Americans. Clemente didn’t just break barriers but inspired other Latinos to get into baseball.”

READ: Trump Put A Stop To The MLB And Cuban Baseball Federation Deal And Here’s Why It Matters

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