‘Selena’ Authors Say Netflix Shows Disrespectful Singer, Staff

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The parity problem is so glaring that Saracho founded an all-Latina advocacy group called the Untitled Latinx Project (ULP) with the aim of raising awareness and increasing the number of stories Latinx created on television: “In community, we let’s get strength, ”says Saracho.

The group issued an open letter to Hollywood on the last day of October, which is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Featuring the signatures of 276 Latino designers, including Eva Longoria, Lin-Manuel Miranda and John Leguizamo, the letter read: “Hollywood power brokers are complicit in our exclusion” and presented a list of demands, including a call for hire. more Latinx writers, especially in decision-making roles like creator / showrunner. “No stories about us without us,” one reads.

Representatives from the United Talent Agency have reached out to organizers to set up a meeting, Saracho said, but there has been no outreach from studios or networks.

“When we sat down with UTA, we thought, ‘Why don’t they produce our s—? As the people who sell our talent, explain to us, ”Saracho says. “One of them said, ‘You’re not making enough noise.’ It’s in us – look at the immigration steps. We need to change the paradigm. We have to sit down and have these conversations.

Plans are underway for another action from ULP organizers to speak with studio heads. Part of the problem, according to Gloria Calderón Kellett, co-host of One Day at a Time, is establishing singular voices that carry the kind of power that demands attention.

“We don’t yet have that important voice for the Latino community,” she says. “We don’t have Ava [DuVernay] or a Shonda [Rhimes]. We are building this. Tanya and I try to be that. I would like to have the resources. Problem is, I’m trying to start a new show. I don’t have time to do this. Tanya, too, is trying to get her next show up and running. We try to find time in between all that stuff to enjoy having meetings and saying, “OK, well, how do we follow up on the letter? How do you sit down with people when you don’t have time to get away from a writers’ room? Thank god for people like america [Ferrera] and Eva [Longoria], these are the closest we have.

Even fresh off the groundbreaking FX series “Pose,” which he co-created with powerhouse partners Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals says his visibility doesn’t equate to more power.

“I’m still on the other side of the door, trying to open it, like everyone else,” he said. “The heartbreaking part of acknowledging that a lot of young and emerging writers are going to reach out, and they don’t get the answer they’re hoping for. Sometimes I walk away saying to myself: “F—, I really hope they don’t think that I don’t want to help the community, that these are just empty talk, just outwardly, we say, ‘I want to help everybody’ and then behind the scenes we really don’t give like—. Because the truth is, we really want to help. We just don’t have all the power that you assume we have.

Many lingering problems could be alleviated, the authors said, if there were more people of color working as executives, agents and other decision-making positions to combat the entrenched whiteness of the industry. In a 2020 analysis of leadership positions in television networks and movie studios, UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report” found only 20 out of 919 Latino television executives, or 2.1%, with no none at the CEO / president level, and exactly zero Latino film executives, out of 170.

Calderón Kellett recalled a situation regarding the creative direction of key promotional art for “One Day at a Time,” which was produced by Sony Pictures Television and premiered on Netflix before moving to Pop TV in 2020.

“They said, ‘Oh my God, we’ve got a great idea for a poster, Gloria, you’re going to panic: family food fight,” she said. “It’s rice flying, everyone’s covered. of food and they’re laughing. “And I said, ‘Damn no. Abuela has been making this food for hours and you’re throwing it away? We don’t waste food. What are you talking about? Latinos who throw food? But it’s all white people who throw me. Half of my job is to explain.

Tanya Saracho, creator of “Vida”, on the left; Marvin Lemus, co-creator of “Gentefied”.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

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