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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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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

Mexico Is Becoming A Major Source Of Talent And Production For Netflix

Entertainment

Mexico Is Becoming A Major Source Of Talent And Production For Netflix

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Mexico has long been a source for original stories and great talent when it comes to film and television. The country has also long exported some of best minds behind the camera, five out of six of the last best director Oscars have gone to Mexican filmmakers Alfonos Cuarón, Alejando Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro. That’s why it’s no surprise streaming giant Netflix is increasing production in Mexico with more than 50 projects in different stages of production over the next two years. With award-winning projects like “Roma” and fan favorite series like “Narcos: Mexico,” Netflix is just tapping into the emerging talent and stories that Mexico has to offer.

While there has been streaming services prior to offer Spanish content, none have the reach and audience like Netflix.

With the expansion and investment in Mexico, Netflix is ushering in a new era for filmmakers, actors and a global audience that will get to view the work. The incoming projects include five new projects, a musical inspired by the music of Pedro Infante, a series of documentaries about the U.S.-Mexico border executive produced by Gael García Bernal, American Jesus, based on a comic by Mark Millar and a anticipated series about Selena. The increase in production is noticeable. As of 2017, only seven Netflix productions were made in Mexico.

“The richness of talent in front of and behind the camera in Mexico was key in our decision to begin our local production strategy four years ago,” Netflix Chief Executive Ted Sarandos said at a publicity event in Mexico City last month.

Netlfix is planning to open a new office in Mexico City to help increase production there.

The expansion to film and produce in Mexico comes natural for Netflix. It was the place where it first started producing non-English original programming when it expanded internationally to Latin America in 2011.

The numbers also show that international expansion is the way to go for the streaming service. More than half of Netflix’s audience is now international, and international subscriptions are growing faster than domestically. In the last quarter of 2018, Netflix added 1.5 million U.S. subscribers and 7.3 million international subscribers — a record increase. Netflix executives declined to release the number of subscribers it currently has in Mexico.

It’s also benefited those living in Mexico by providing job opportunities.
Over 100,000 Mexicans have already worked on Netflix Originals and this will only increase in the coming years.

Lenard Liberman, the CEO of LBI Media, the parent company to Burbank-based, Spanish-language EstrellaTV Networks says the combination of Netflix and Mexico is good sign for consumers.

“The fact that you have a Netflix now and you have independent producers producing, it’s created more diversity and more interesting formats,”
Liberman told The Hollywood Reporter. “Where it used to just be novella novella novella, the fact that there are so many platforms now looking for great content means that there’s a lot of people being creative.

Netflix is giving Mexico a platform to tell it’s stories and give actors from the region a chance to be exposed to a huge audience.

What made productions like “Roma” and “Narcos: Mexico” so successful was the authenticity it provided viewers. Part of that authenticity comes from the on-site location filming that Mexico brings.

The focus on production in the country has also exposed millions to stories and actors who audiences might have never been to introduced to. Erik Barmack, who recently left Netflix to start his own production company after serving as the vice president for international originals, says no matter where the production is filmed or where a story comes from, audiences will always love great content.

“People from around the world are used to watching things subtitled and dubbed — they’re just looking for stories,” Barmack told the LA Times. “They’re not thinking, what’s coming from the U.S. They’re just asking, ‘How do I find the most interesting things from around the world?’”

READ: Once Again, A Study Shows Latinos Continue To Lack Representation In Hollywood

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