'We Are Tired,' 270 Latinx Hollywood stars call out the industry
Latinx Hollywood Stars are tired of not being represented, and they made that clear on the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month.
After a month of celebrations, collaborations, highlights, and support, Hispanic Heritage month came to a close on October 15. Along with the celebrations also came an open letter from over 270 Latinx top creators in the TV and film industry titled, ‘Dear Hollywood, #EndLatinXclusion.’
The letter called for systemic change in Hollywood, and was supported by Latinx writers like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tanya Saracho, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and more.
The letter begins with addressing the times we’re experiencing at the end of Hispanic Heritage Month — still in the middle of a global pandemic and continued responding to continued racial injustice. Given the circumstances, the letter says it has been hard to celebrate and expresses solidarity with the Black and Indigenous communities by co-signing their open letters also calling for change in the entertainment industry.
It also addresses the stereotypes Latinos play on screen, and strikes the tone of a recent New York Times op-ed that says “white elites cannot muffle a huge, vibrant community for decades and not expect consequences.”
The letter cites how the Latinx community represents 18.3% of the U.S. population , but that is not nearly reflected in the industry. Only 4.7% of feature writers and 8.7% of TV writers are Latinx. Up the ladder in exec positions, the numbers dwindle further.
“By refusing to tell our stories AND by refusing to put us in charge of telling them -- Hollywood power brokers are complicit in our exclusion,” it reads.
Throughout, the phrase ‘We are tired,’ is repeated and heard with a level of exhaust all too familiar — tired of projects developed with no Latinx creator, tired of hearing there were no Latinx writers to hire, and tired of being overlooked. The movement is not enough. The letter demands action.
These were the five demands.
This is to make space to tell the Latinx stories, and not just hire one Latinx writer to fill the inclusivity quota. Attached there were links to Latinx Writers to hire.
Create an agenda for demographic inclusivity. Instead of just buying the pilots, greenlight the entire project.
The projects that are greenlighted should represent the diversity of the Latinx community. “We are more than just White Latinx and Mestizos. We are Black and Indigenous. We are LGBTQIA. We are Undocumented. We are Disabled,” part of the demand explains.
Let Latinx creators grow, don’t keep them in one position at a lower rank because they are “diversity hires.” Give opportunities!
Just as white writers have portrayed Latinx characters, Latinx writers can also portray different identities. The same stories of the American dream can be narrated by Latinx people because at the end of the day, that is what most of the Latinx community is here to do: Chase the American dream.