Hollywood’s Latin ambitions hit new heights

Hollywood’s Latin ambitions hit new heights

If this Clubhouse room was an actual club, it’d be the most FOMO-inducing spot in town. Drink special of the night: piping hot tea.

It’s March, and some of the most accomplished Latinx voices in Hollywood are debriefing on two recent reports on an old problem. One, conducted by the Directors Guild of America found encouraging gains for female and Black directors but a lack of progress among Latinx and female directors of color, who “continued to be severely underrepresented.” The other was one by Netflix, who, in a rare move, commissioned a study of its own content, with bleak findings for the Latinx community. “Across film and series, few Netflix stories were centered around Latinx cast and even fewer benefitted from the creative vision of Latinx storytellers behind the camera. These findings are problematic, given that Latinos are the largest ethnic minority group in the U.S. and likely a large share of the Netflix audience,” the study said. These findings led to a hefty investment from the company into supporting creators and artists from underrepresented communities, which was announced in conjunction with the report.

What these two documents told them was something they already know in their hearts and on their resumés: the industry is coming up short for Latinx creatives. “I’m so tired,” one person said. “Very, very tired.” Peter Murrieta, executive producer of “Mr. Iglesias” on Netflix who recently scored a first-look deal with Universal Television, was there. “I absolutely think their frustration is justified,” he told CNN. He knows because he’s felt it, too. He’s run three television shows, overseen hundreds of episodes of television in his decades in the business and has seen how opportunities don’t always correlate to the experience one has. “As the years accrue, you have to really look at what decisions are being made, how they’re being made and you go, there is a problem. There just is a problem.” There’s reason to be hopeful, of course. In all corners of the industry, there are Latinx titans doing the work and laying the ground for the progress so many have been waiting for. Seven of them — Carolina Garcia, Gloria Calderón Kellett, Roberto Larios, Alan Luna, Claudia Lyon, Kase Peña and Gina Torres — are profiled by CNN as part of this feature report.

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