There is no doubt Netflix is bringing out Latino-themed stories like we haven’t seen any other entertainment network do. The latest to entertain both mainstream and Latinx Netflix viewers is comedy-drama series Gentefied in its first season executive produced and directed by America Ferrera. It exemplifies our Latinx American Dream.
With representation mattering more than ever – Hollywood is slowly waking up to the importance of diversity and inclusion. It hasn’t come easy as a force of resistance and movement leaders driving much-needed awareness of sparse Latinx representation. With new show concepts and leading Latinx influentials in the Hollywood entertainment industry starting new projects aimed at expanding opportunities for more Latinos in entertainment behind-the-scenes and in front. Hollywood might be ‘browning’ a bit more in no time.
So who are the creators behind Gentefied? Marvin Lemus (Guatemalan and Mexican-American) and Linda Yvette Chávez (Mexican-American, Xicana to the bone) prove that anyone who never sold a TV script can do it! Bringing their sharp talents, love for cultura – however, their work didn’t come without its hurdles like pitching their comedy-drama or dramedy script to the biggest industry players enough that STARZ and Netflix went head to head. Guess who won that network battle? Netflix. Lemus and Chávez finally landed a meeting with America Ferrera who came on board early, through an introduction via Charles King, founder of Macros, a Hollywood-based firm that puts people of color stories at the forefront through production and investment.
Gentefied is its creators (Lemus and Chávez) homage to their Boyle Heights community and Latinx/Mexican-American roots. Things are as real as it can get east of downtown Los Angeles, Boyle Heights where deep Chicano, Mexican-American culture is in your face. The Gentefied series introduces fresh Latinx talent J.J. Soria, Carlos Santos, Karrie Martin, Julissa Calderon to name a few, who portray spot-on characters that you would find in the hood – young hipster Latinos, anyone? White guys eating tacos and saying pretty insensitive shit? Yip that too. The series will touch upon social issues like on-going gentrification in Boyle Heights. With both dramatic and comedic undertones and of course, bilingualism, topics will hit ‘close to home’ for anyone who has experienced gentrification (Hola Nueva York?) in the beloved community they grew up in or currently live. It is more than a gentrification story…it’s about love for nuestra gente, the community.
The American dream comes true with Lemus, Chavez and Ferrera bringing our Latinx voices to the Netflix screen.