It’s not been a great week for Latinos in Hollywood, but I’m sure many of you already know that.
Warner Bros cancels release of “Batgirl” starring Leslie Grace, HBO Max cancels adult comedy series “The Gordita Chronicles” and James Franco plays Cuban dictator Fidel in upcoming film Between Castro, Latinos are being ruthlessly abandoned and ignored in the entertainment industry. To make matters worse, not many people seem to care.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav addressed the controversial “Batgirl” decision on the company’s earnings call this week, saying: “We’re not going to launch a movie unless we believe it.”
Zaslav may not realize how much truth he shares in this sentence.
In fact, Hollywood doesn’t believe in Latino stories, creators, or feelings. That’s a fair assumption based on how we’ve handled it so far in the business. However, it’s not just how we “feel”. Specific data backs it up.
The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative released its findings in September 2021 on the lack of Hispanic and Latino representation in the film industry. Its findings were even worse than many suspected. An examination of the 1,300 highest-grossing films released in the United States over the past 13 years found only six Afro-Latino protagonists or co-stars during that period. Furthermore, of the more than 52,000 characters examined, less than 5% had spoken parts.
Isn’t this a wake-up call? Obviously not.
Controversies like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite have highlighted long-standing inequalities in the Hollywood ranks over the past decade, with executives and producers taking to press conferences to share their views on creating “welcome” and “nurturing” The environment’s new “unbridled”, all with an attached “do better” promise.
This is mostly a verbal service.
Sympathy for the continued bleeding of people who have lost their jobs at WarnerMedia over the past two years, especially after the merger was completed in April, and a quick look at it may provide contextual clues as to why the company scrapped plans to cancel the first film by Afro-Latino-dominated superhero movies. The studio has been criticized for the lack of Afro-Latino representation in “In the Heights.”
While many of us admit we weren’t looking forward to the DCEU’s “Citizen Kane,” the excitement and enthusiasm for “Batgirl” are palpable. Grace, the up-and-coming Dominican star of ‘In the Heights’, is heading towards her biggest Hollywood moment, one that could give young Latinos their first time on screen to your own image.
Now, with rugs pulled from under us, should Latinos accept that this is a possible quality issue, or worse, a way to get an easy tax break? Should Latinos start preparing for any other Latino-themed projects, like the Mexican superhero movie “Blue Beetle,” starring Xolo Maridueña, to face a similar fate?
Just when we thought it was any more absurd, a headline that read like an onion article appeared – “James Franco plays Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro in indie film ‘Alina of Cuba’. ”
Sighing and rolling eyes mean a lot. Aside from sexual misconduct allegations and a recent settlement (still believe in cancel culture?), I found myself Googling Franco’s racial roots to see if I might have missed this Portuguese-Swedish-Russian-Jewish Whether the actor has newfound Latino roots. He didn’t.
Criticisms were swift from social media users and Hollywood figures, such as Oscar-winning Cuban producer Phil Lord (“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”) and Emmy-winning Colombian actor John Leguizamo.
Some users attempted to point out inconsistencies with Leguizamo’s criticism, pointing to his previous role as Italian plumber Luigi in 1993’s Super Mario Bros. Yet aside from the fact that Luigi is not a real-life figure responsible for the killing of thousands of people, people still simply cannot understand the underrepresentation of marginalized groups such as Latinos and how they are not consistently seen in the media to yourself. Some even attempted to name Cuban actress Ana de Armas’ upcoming role as Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde,” apparently missing decades of multiple portrayals of the classic rising star.
This stupid logic continues to allow Latino roles to continue to be filled by non-Latino actors, such as Javier Bardem (Spanish) playing Desi Arnaz in “Becoming Ricardo,” his cousin Miguel El Baden is directing Franco’s vehicle “Alina of Cuba”. ”
It’s unclear when the excuse for Latino exclusion will end. With Netflix recently laying off nearly all of its agency staff for Con Todo, its platform focused on Latino content and audiences, it looks like Hollywood has a long way to go in terms of equality.
Latinos are not one-off, nor culturally ambiguous. Latinos are 500 million people worldwide. understand us.