Stories are more than entertainment. They are a powerful tool for social change that fuels our collective movement to build a more equitable, just world for those who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized.
Actors, writers and directors are essential to this work. As we watch them do what they do best, we are reminded that their art influences how people think and feel about our communities – both at home and abroad. While we’re encouraged by some of the changes we have seen in recent years, we continue to deal with the repercussions from years of being actively erased and invisible on screen.
For decades, our network of organizations has advocated for more authentic, inclusive representation of the Latino community in film and television, both in front and behind the camera.
- We’ve invested in creative talent development and executive pipeline programs to prepare aspiring creators and a new generation of business leaders to succeed across our industry.
- We’ve created our own platforms to celebrate Latino excellence in media and honor work that uplifts our communities.
- We’ve served as cultural experts to studios, networks and producers to ensure that their projects authentically reflect our complex diversity.
- We’ve pushed those in leadership to provide fair, adequate resources to our writers, directors and talent so they don’t encounter unnecessary barriers in bringing their stories to life.
- We’ve insisted on better representation within existing narratives by calling out harmful and dangerous stereotypes, and we’ve held studio leadership accountable when they make irresponsible creative decisions that have serious real-world consequences.
It’s clear that we still have a long way to go, but we’re proud of our Latino creatives who are elevating our humanity and moving culture forward through their work.
We were particularly optimistic about this summer. We were approaching a critical turning point for Latino representation as we saw the return of some of our favorite shows and characters, the launch of exciting new series, and prepared for a groundbreaking moment on the big screen – the first superhero movie directed, written, and starring Latinos. We were hopeful that our long overdue cultural moment had finally arrived.
And now we are confronted with this pivotal moment across the media industry; a double strike that will have a significantly disproportionate impact on artists from underrepresented communities.
Actors and writers deserve a deal that protects their work and livelihoods, so we will continue to support them as they fight for better treatment and fair compensation. And since we represent a rapidly growing demographic with tremendous influence over the global cultural landscape, we also remain dedicated to recognizing and celebrating their artistic excellence and its invaluable role in reflecting our community and culture on screen.
For the sake of current and future generations of Latinos, we will not delay our progress any longer. We invite you to join us in our effort to amplify the work that countless Latino artists have worked so hard to create. It’s important that we show up for them at a time when they are not able to promote their projects.
Our stories are universal and need to be told. Together, we must continue to advocate for a more equitable and inclusive industry, one that respects and honors our storytellers and stories.
Together in the movement,
Alliance of Latinx Executives
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino
Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
Hispanic Coalition of Small Business (HCSB)
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Latino Community Foundation
Latino Film Institute
Latino Filmmakers Network
National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF)
The Latinx House
We Are All Human
This piece was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter under the name “Amid Double Strike, Latino Advocacy Groups Issue Open Letter: Our ‘Stories Need to Be Told'” and was written by Rebecca Sun.