Gina Rodriguez refuses to say quiet about the lack of Latino representation in Hollywood.
The “Jane the Virgin” actress wrote a poignant essay about the importance of seeing more Latinos on-screen for Variety on Wednesday ― the latest in a series of public remarks she’s made this week on the subject.
“To be seen and heard is a simple human need,” the Puerto Rican star wrote. “To be invisible in a world of loud voices is heartbreaking and dehumanizing. The under-representation of Latinos in Hollywood both on and off screen is not just a feeling; it’s a sad reality.”
“Latinos are not only prominent and loyal in the consumer market but also make up one of the largest demographics at the box office every opening weekend,” she continued. “The fact that we are not seen on screen despite our vast contributions is devastating.”
Rodriguez also pointed out the need to represent the true diversity of the Latino community, including Afro-Latinos. “It is our responsibility as an industry to give this entire generation positive representation so that no one feels invisible,” she added.
For years the Chicago-born actress hasn’t just preached about Latino representation in television and film, she’s also been trying to be a part of the solution. Rodriguez spotlights actors of color on social media with her #MovementMonday posts and is working on bringing diverse projects to television with her production company I Can & I Will.
“To our beautiful community, let’s unite and use one of our greatest strengths, our buying power to finally be heard,” Rodriguez tweeted on Wednesday with a link to her Variety essay. “They say were a risk - so let’s prove them wrong. It’s up to us to create the Latino presence on screen that reflects our world. It’s time to take back our power.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy” star Zoe Saldana responded to the tweet with a message in Spanish: “Thank you @HereIsGina. Your words serve me like a breath after so much evaporated sacrifice in a white and empty desert.”
Rodriguez called out Hollywood for the lack of Latino leads in film during a red carpet interview with E! News at Sunday night’s SAG awards, pointing to the community’s consumer power as avid moviegoers and the fact that the Latino population in the U.S. is more than 55 million strong.