A Revolution on the Move: By 2030 there will be twice as many Hispanic actors in Hollywood
Only 5% of Hollywood actors are Hispanic. But that's going to change, thanks to an initiative that has been joined by celebrities like Eva Longoria.
"Empowering the next generation of Latino leaders." That's what LA Collab is all about, an initiative launched by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in collaboration with media and film personalities to double the representation of the Hispanic community at the Factory of Dreams by 2030.
The idea, which Garcetti came up with along with Mitú Digital Media Company founder Beatriz Acevedo and AEM firm president Ivette Rodriguez, came about in response to the low visibility of Latino actors in Hollywood, which has even declined by 50% in the last decade despite the industry's continued pride in its drive for diversity in film - take last year's Oscars and the Oscars' nominations as proof of the "makeup" exercise -.
"As a Latina, I want to see more actors who look like me on screen and behind the camera," Eva Longoria.
A recent study by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California revealed that less than 5% of the nearly 50,000 characters in films made in the last 12 years are Latino. This is something that concerns this group of leaders, and a lot.
"The Latino community is a growing force in the Los Angeles economy, and our industry should take advantage of that diverse pool of talent," Garcetti said last Monday during the LA Collab presentation, expressing the irony that Latinos are so underrepresented in Hollywood when they represent 20% of the U.S. population and account for nearly a quarter of the audience that fills movie theaters.
In addition, Beatriz Acevedo said in a statement that "the radical decline of Hispanics in the movie industry was the catalyst for bringing Hollywood together and bringing about joint change."
"By facilitating unprecedented collaborations between the creative community and other influential allies, LA Collab will ultimately drive exponential growth for the industry and our community," she concluded.
According to NBC, the LA Collab, which has found support from major celebrities such as J.J Abrams, Eli Roth, and Zoe Saldaña, among others, not only has funding from the Annenberg Foundation and Warner Media but in order to create new opportunities for Latinos in the entertainment sector, has already closed deals with several media companies, including Shine Global, Endeavor Content or the Southern California Public Radio's LAist Studios.
"As a Latina, I want to see more actors who look like me on screen and behind the camera," Eva Longoria said in a statement. "I launched my own production company to create content for our community and became a director and producer to be in a position to hire people who look like me."
She stressed that she hopes her contribution to LA Collab will "open the door to many more Latino creators" and help create an entertainment industry that "elevates and celebrates the diversity and richness of my culture."
LA Collab has signed agreements with major media companies such as Warner Media to provide more opportunities for Hispanic artists.
Ironically, the announcement of this challenging new think tank came on the same day that the Oscar nominations were announced and the absence of Hispanic nominees, with very few exceptions, such as Puerto Rican Joaquin Phoenix.
Who knows what the future holds... Thanks to the efforts of Latinos in front of and behind the scenes and the influential leaders who support them, perhaps the next Oscars - certainly not these ones - will be more "mestizo" than ever.