Gina Rodriguez is best known for her starring role in “Jane the Virgin”, a TV series about Latino character featuring numerous Latino actors.
Shows such as “Jane the Virgin”, however, are a rarity in Hollywood, and the 33-year-old actress shares her opinion on the topic in a new op-ed for Variety.
“To be seen and heard is a simple human need,” she writes. “To be invisible in a world of loud voices is heartbreaking and dehumanizing. The under-representation of Latinos in Hollywood both on and off screen is not just a feeling; it’s a sad reality.”
As Rodriguez points out, the Latino audience makes up “one of the largest demographics at the box office every opening weekend. The fact that we are not seen on screen despite our vast contributions is devastating — although there has been progress since my childhood, thanks to creators like Silvio Horta, George Lopez, Gloria Calderon Kellett and the woman who changed my life, Jennie Urman Snyder.”
She continues: “We still have a long journey ahead. This is not just my journey, this is the journey for every young Latino boy or girl who longs to see a version of his or herself on screen. I do see a change slowly happening and I work every day to be a part of that change.”
Pointing to her upcoming film “Miss Bala”, which features “a female Latino lead and other amazing Latino talent” in addition to “a 95 per cent Latino crew,” she adds, “This film should not however be the exception to the rule, it should be a constant practice in our industry. Latinos come in many skin tones, religious background and political perspectives.”
As she explains, “It’s important we celebrate, employ and represent all Latinos from European to Afro-Latinos, because it is our responsibility as an industry to give this entire generation positive representation so that no one feels invisible,” and concludes: “It truly takes a village to make a change and I’m hopeful that more studios, networks and filmmakers will continue to help make the increased presence of Latinos on screen not just a hope but a reality.”
Rodriguez’s call to action has already received a big thumbs-up from none other than Reese Witherspoon, who tweeted, “Amen.”