In a series of revealing tweets, Cristela Alonzo reveals she was not paid for the ‘Cristela’ sitcom pilot which aired on ABC from October 10, 2014, through April 17, 2015.
Alonzo’s tweets were triggered in response to The Hollywood Reporter article reporting that actress, Lena Dunham was only 23 when she sold #Girls to network HBO with only an idea on a page-and-a-half-long pitch, no characters developed or a plot. Durham also created the now-defunct Lenny Letter, a feminist publication newsletter. The conversation of ‘white privilege’ being on Durham’s side for reaching numerous accolades and success despite her controversies around racism and intersectional feminism.
I got paid $0 for my sitcom pilot. When I sold my show, my white partner got 3 x more money then me AND an overall deal. I was ‘not ready’ to get one. The name of the show was Cristela.
I also offered to shoot the show in English/Spanish. I wasn’t the highest paid person on it. https://t.co/vBCCs82UEl
— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) June 28, 2020
Cristela Alonzo broke ground as the first Latina to create, produce, write, and star in her own U.S. primetime comedy sitcom, ‘Cristela’. The U.S. audience hadn’t seen a Latinx family and main Latina character in a long time, in fact, possibly never up until the sitcom aired.
‘Cristela’ struck a chord with many Latinas on the professional path but the show was canceled by ABC in May 2015 after only one season. In her tweet, Cristela says “And people wonder why I haven’t come back to TV… the support I had in 2014-2015 was non-existent.”
Alonzo claims that she had a ‘white partner’ who got three times more money when she sold the rights to ‘Cristela’ which speaks to the entertainment industry’s issue with structural racism and discrimination. “AND an overall deal. I was ‘not ready’ to get one. The name of the show was Cristela” she tweeted.
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Alonzo’s tweets along with fan engagement brought out revealing truths about the industries of which Latinx and Black are heavy consumers in, media being one, but where little representation exists at the top. She also claims the writers on the show took credit for the ‘good parts’ as Cristela states which speaks to the current climate of racism and discrimination in media, book publishing and other spaces. Latinx, Black and other people of color creatives are not getting recognition by credit and paid for their work.
Cristela has gone on after the sitcom’s ending in 2015 to write a memoir ‘Music To My Ears – A Mixtape-Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up detailing her Hollywood experience including her now claims, a Netflix special – ‘Lower Classy’. Working with Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’, she was the voice to ‘Cruz Ramirez” she tweeted that working with Pixar was the best experience. Cristela also served as one of ABC’s “The View’s” most popular guest hosts.
To Be Continued is Cristela’s podcast that mixes sketch, social commentary, and what is on her genius mind.