Gina Rodriguez Tackles Diversity in Hollywood

Gina Rodriguez

This week, Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriquez started a campaign called #MovementMondays to highlight the work of fellow Latinos in the film and television industry. Since the hashtag #oscarssowhite has become viral, it has highlighted the issue that minority actors are being overlooked for major awards and recognition. But is it really the Academy's fault for not nominating more minority actors and filmmakers? Or is it a larger issue within the industry? As Rodriquez points out in an essay for WhoSay, [sic] "Right now there isn't one Latino that can Greenlight a movie. That means no studio will put their money behind a Latino face as a lead of a movie because they don't believe we can make their money back." Rodriguez has a point in that the only color Hollywood cares about is the color GREEN. When Kristin Wiig wrote and starred in the hit comedy Bridesmaids, it showed Hollywood that women were, in fact, a huge force in comedy and can garner huge box office draws. The same needs to happen for the Latino audience. We can't sit back and wait to be recognized. We need more Latino writers, producers, studio heads, executives, casting directors and agents behinds the scenes. We need more Latinos who have the power to greenlight a project. Even Nuyorican Productions, founded by Jennifer Lopez and Benny Medina, had to pitch their NBC drama Shades of Blue to the studios to be greenlit.

Adds Rodriguez, [sic] "The industry sees money, the excuse can't be racism. We can make a difference in a very powerful way if we unite our support as one Latino community." Network television is already making strides in showcasing and developing Latino talent, especially NBC. Jennifer Lopez stars in her hit drama Shades of Blue on NBC, America Ferrera and Eva Longoria star in NBC's comedies Superstore and Telenovela, respectively. But more needs to be done. We need more women like Shonda Rhimes, who basically owns Thursday night's on ABC. We need more diversity in the writer's room, in the executive offices and on the studio lots. We need to illuminate the fact that the Latino community is a billion dollar audience who craves stories that reflect our issues and experiences. 

For Rodriguez's first #MovementMondays pick? It's actor Oscar Isaac, most recently of Ex Machina. Who is your #MovementMondays pick? Comment below or reach out to us on social media. We love to hear from our readers!

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image courtesy of: wikicommons Dominick D