Latinx in Hollywood

Basta Ya: Things Latinxs Need to Do To Succeed in Hollywood

It’s a trying and even sad time to be Latinx in Hollywood (but then again, when hasn’t it been?). Television shows such as The Gordita Chronicles, Vida, One Day at a Time, and Gentefied are being canceled left and right, despite big followings and good reviews. While we have managed to get more face time in front of the cameras, what good does it make if our content is consistently getting pushed off the air? Full representation for Latinx in Hollywood or Tinseltown is something we are always reaching for, a goal post that seems to get moved every time we inch near it.

So what do Latinxs have to do to get–and stay–on screen? We have to think outside the box, outside of the rigid parameters we have been placed in by Hollywood. We have to create content, by us, for us. It’s time for us to take a page from the Black community, of which we are a part of, and reinvent Hollywood to reflect and represent Latinx, even if that means we make our own version of Hollywood. Here are several ways we can start seeing more Latinxs faces on TV.

Stop Waiting for Hollywood to Catch Up–or Care

 

Ver esta publicación en Instagram

 

Una publicación compartida por Futuro Media (@futuromedia)

As Latinxs, we are placed in several spaces that were not created by us, and not meant for us to thrive in. So, we are always playing catch up in a game that wasn’t ours to begin with. In order for us to succeed as Latinx in Hollywood, we need to stop expecting Hollywood to catch up and finally give us the due shine we deserve. We have to keep finding ways to create our content, and tell our stories. Even if it means having to reinvent the TV and film wheel from scratch.

Start Our Own Latinx-Content TV Channels

 

Ver esta publicación en Instagram

 

Una publicación compartida por ALLBLK (@watchallblk)

One way to reinvent Hollywood to benefit Latinxs is by starting our own Latinx-content TV channels. We have to take inspiration from Black-owned channels like BET, ALLBLK, OWN, ASPiRE TV, and Revolt TV, and start our own English-language Latinx home bases. We’ve seen channels here and there, like Universo and NuvoTV (now defunct), but with such a variety in our culture, we really should have several English-language channels dedicated to the broad Latinx experience.

Create Our Own Shows From Scratch

What makes a real Latinx show has to do with not only who is in front of the camera, but also behind it. We need more Latinx in Hollywood directors, producers, writers, and more to make sure the narratives that are being portrayed on screen are accurate, well-rounded, and reflect who we are. We are thankful for trailblazers like Eva Longoria-Baston, Salma Hayek, Gloria Calderon Kellett, John Leguizamo, and Tanya Saracho, who took it upon themselves to create the Latinx content that they wanted to see on TV. And we are also thankful for the OGs and new actors who are making sure these Latinx stories are being told by us.

Open Our Own Studios

 

Ver esta publicación en Instagram

 

Una publicación compartida por Mz.Melony 🇵🇷 (@mz.melony)

Tyler Perry made history when he opened Tyler Perry Studios, becoming “the first Black person to own a studio outright.” Former assistant, and later president of the studio, Cuban-American Ozzie Areu later bought this same studio from Perry, thus becoming “the first Latino to own a major studio. (Areu Bros. Studios)” We need more Latinxs like Areu to helm their own studios, ensuring that Latinx content is made (and made correctly), starting from the head honchos on down.

Never Quit

 

Ver esta publicación en Instagram

 

Una publicación compartida por Nonu Goyal (@nonugoyall)


While it’s hard to keep going when it seems like the cards are stacked against us, we have to keep on telling our stories. For us, and for the world. Latinxs are worthy of it, and have to keep pressing on like we have. We already know there’s an audience out there of millions. We just have to find innovative ways to create the content we want to see, and get it to the eyes of the people who want to see it. And we are making it happen. As viewers, we also have to really make an effort to make sure we watch as many Latinx-made shows as possible so that the numbers help keep these shows on the air. We have been oppressed, judged, portrayed on the screen by non-Latinxs, and even completely erased from the Hollywood conversation. But we will never be silenced.

Post tags:

V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi is a writer at BoldLatina, Refinery29, LatinaMedia.co, and Mission Local. Her work focuses primarily on fashion, beauty, and Latinx culture. She has also written on San Francisco for a number of publications including the San Francisco Examiner, Bob Cut Mag, 7x7, and The Bold Italic. Alex recently co-founded the Latina Writers community.