Latin television and film creators are demanding that Hollywood “#EndLatinXclusion” in the entertainment industry, stating, “We are tired,” and “We refuse to be filtered through a White perspective.”
“As we come to the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in the midst of a global pandemic and continued racial injustice, many of us in the Latinx community have found it difficult to celebrate,” wrote the Latin creators in an open letter to Hollywood. “Inspired by the activism of the Black and Indigenous communities, many of whom also identify as Latinx, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Black, Native and Indigenous writers, co-signing their WGAW Open Letters and echoing their demands for systemic change in our industry.”
Some of the letter signees included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tanya Saracho, Gloria Calderon-Kellett, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Steven Canals, John Leguizamo, Linda Yvette-Chavez, Carolina Paiz, Marco Ramirez, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, among others.
We’ve been working hard on this over @untitledlatinx because we want some damn change for all of you artists killing yourselves to be seen. SIGN! Let’s get ours! Read the rest and sign: https://t.co/k3hkgN6wrO #EndLatinXclusion #YabastaHollywood pic.twitter.com/IDhCdw5SFd
— Linda Yvette Chávez (@lindayvette) October 15, 2020
The letter signees go on to state that “as Latinx Showrunners, Creators, TV and Feature Writers, we are incensed by the continued lack of Latinx representation in our industry, especially among the Black and Indigenous members of our community.”
“Our stories are important, and our erasure onscreen contributes to the persistent prejudice that prevents real change in this country,” wrote the Latin creators, before going on to compare their experience with police brutality and “keep[ing] immigrant children in cages” — although acknowledging that it is “not as overt.”
“This prejudice is not as overt as the one that keeps immigrant children in cages and separates families at the border, or as violent as the racism that is killing our Black, Brown, and Indigenous community members at the hands of police,” they said.
“But when we are onscreen, we’re often relegated to stereotypes or villains,” the creators continued. “And as a recent New York Times OpEd states, ‘White elites cannot muffle a huge, vibrant community for decades and not expect consequences. For Latinos in the Trump era, these consequences are deadly, from Hurricane Maria to the Walmart shooting in El Paso and the pandemic, as well as soaring hate crimes.'”
“By refusing to tell our stories AND by refusing to put us in charge of telling them — Hollywood power brokers are complicit in our exclusion,” the letter adds. “We are tired of Latinx projects being developed with no Latinx writer, director, or producer attached. We refuse to be filtered through a White perspective.”
From there, the letter demands that Hollywood create “no stories about us without us,” and that the industry “greenlight our projects.”
Last month, actor John Leguizamo said that he would be boycotting the Emmy Awards over the lack of Latino representation among this year’s nominees, stating that Latinos are the largest minority group in the United States and will “decide who is president this year.”
In August, far-left Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) launched a scathing rebuke of Hollywood as well, declaring the need for a “reckon[ing] with its systemic injustice and exclusion of our communities.”
“Latinos love Hollywood, but Hollywood hates Latinos,” wrote Rep. Castro in a guest column for Variety magazine. “Latinos are often depicted as stereotypes, if we’re represented at all.”