When the nominations for the 72nd Emmys were announced, the all too familiar absence of Latinx shows, actors, and artists was immediately apparent. The lack of recognition makes actor Jharrel Jerome’s win last year an even more pertinent and rare circumstance.
While far from perfect, Latinx representation on the small screen has enjoyed a recent string of success. Shows like Vida, Gentefied, and Queen of the South have garnered both critical acclaim and dedicated viewers on both major streaming platforms and broadcast television. However, Vida just concluded its final season and with The Baker and The Beauty leaving broadcast, there are far fewer opportunities for Latinx audiences to see themselves on screen.
Academy award-nominated actor Edward James Olmos voiced his disappointment with the lack of Latinx mentions. Last year at LA Collab, he spoke with us stressing the need for Latinx working in entertainment to mentor each other and create our own industry together.
Like Olmos mentioned to us, there is nothing that requires Latinx films to be made or a quota for hiring Latinx directors. This problem stems from a lack of Latinx people in positions across all levels of production – without which our stories are not made, remain unseen, and artists don’t get nominated for awards. Efforts such as the Latinx Directors Database are taking the initiative in showcasing diverse talent ready to contribute right away.
Although 48% of the entertainment capital of the world’s population identifies as Hispanic or Latinx, it remains clear that Hollywood’s biggest players are not prioritizing inclusivity. Latin inclusion should be seen as a necessity based on diverse and unique talent, and not simply as a box to be checked off. The minimum amount of exposure will no longer suffice, which is why at LATV Networks, we’re building our own seat at the table.
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