September 25, 2023



Latino Advocacy Groups Speak Out Amid Ongoing Strikes: ‘Our Stories Need to Be Heard

Latino Advocacy Groups Speak Out Amid Ongoing Strikes: ‘Our Stories Need to Be Heard

The summer of 2023 was poised to be a watershed moment for Latino representation in mainstream media. Coming off acclaimed projects like The Last of Us and Wednesday, anticipation was high for upcoming releases like Flamin’ Hot and especially Blue Beetle, considered a milestone as “the first superhero movie directed, written, and starring Latinos.” Excitement also surrounded new shows like This Fool, With Love, and Primo.

“After years of active erasure and invisibility on screen, we were hopeful our long overdue cultural moment had finally come,” read an open letter from 27 Latino advocacy groups. “Though encouraged by recent changes, we continue to grapple with the lingering impacts of being denied our stories for so long.” The groups expressed optimism but cautioned there was still work to be done in ensuring authentic Latino stories were told.

As talent guilds square off against studios, Latino advocacy groups dread the fallout – promising projects fading forgotten without their creators to champion them. For years these organizations have pushed authentic representation behind the scenes, but fear hard-won gains will be lost as Latino actors and writers withhold promotional press.

In an unprecedented coalition, 27 groups rally public support for #LatinoCreatives, unable to plug their work amid bitter negotiations. “We must uplift them when they cannot uplift themselves,” the joint statement declares, endorsing calls for “fair treatment and pay” while noting the inequitable strike burden on artists of color.

United, the advocates aim to amplify Latino voices muted by the stalemate. Their message: stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, and ensure fledgling progress for representation isn’t snuffed out before it gains cultural foothold.

Stories transcend entertainment – they are instruments of social change, fueling the collective push for equity for marginalized communities.

Actors, writers and directors are integral to this work. Their art molds perceptions of our people, at home and worldwide. Though heartened by recent shifts, we still wrestle with the lingering impacts of active erasure from the screen.

As we observe their craft, we’re reminded representation matters. Stories hold power to reshape mindsets, challenge biases, evoke empathy. Progress has been made, but more chapters remain to be written before the prevailing narratives reflect our truths. Our tales deserve to be told. Our voices deserve to be heard.

This is an ongoing movement, not a fleeting moment. We must uplift the storytellers, so their expressions can uplift us all.

For decades, our organizations have championed authentic Latino representation in film and television:

  • Investing in creative talent and leadership programs to empower the next generation of Latino creators and executives.
  • Creating our own platforms celebrating excellence and uplifting our communities.
  • Serving as cultural experts to ensure accurate, nuanced portrayals across projects.
  • Advocating for fair resources so Latino writers, directors and talent can bring stories to life without barriers.
  • Calling out harmful stereotypes and irresponsible creative choices that have real-world consequences.
  • Holding industry leadership accountable to provide opportunities on and off camera reflective of our diversity.

While progress has been made, the journey toward truly equitable representation is far from over. We take pride in our Latino creatives – their work uplifts our humanity and drives culture forward.

This summer felt full of promise. Favorite shows returned, groundbreaking new series launched, and we braced for a historic superhero blockbuster – the first directed, written by, and starring Latinos. Our long-awaited cultural moment seemed poised to arrive.

Yet now we face a critical industry impasse. The double strike falls heaviest on underrepresented artists. At this vital turning point, their voices are silenced, momentum stalled.

But our advocates will not waiver. We continue fighting for our seat at the table and stories told authentically. Let this be a rallying cry, not a retreat. We cannot let hard-won gains go quietly into the night. The future is still unwritten – we must Keep going.

Actors and writers deserve deals protecting their work and livelihoods – we support their fight for fair treatment and pay. As representatives of an influential demographic, we also celebrate their artistic achievements and indispensable role reflecting our community on screen.

For current and future generations, progress cannot wait. We call on all who care about representation to amplify these Latino artists and their work now when they cannot promote it themselves.

Their creations are our culture, their success is our pride. By uplifting them in this stalemate, we invest in a more just future – one where Latino stories finally stand center stage as they deserve. The time is now to raise our voices as one, so theirs are not silenced. Together we can ensure their hard-earned progress endures this turmoil. Our momentum cannot afford to stall.

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Jhon Steve