If you’re a mujer work a 9-5 job, you’re likely already aware that the fruits of your labors and those your male counterparts are far from one in the same. You’ve probably already heard about the pay gap and how even in the year of 2018 women continue to make considerably less money than their male co-workers. Still, not all of us are aware of just how deep this shortchange runs. While the wage gap closes for white women in April, Latinas have to work up until November 1st of the following year to make the same amount as a white man did in the previous year.
Latina writer and show creator, Jacqueline Priego, is one mujer working to harness the outrage of these statistics.
Priego’s own realities with unequal pay and racism inspired her to leave engineering school and become a writer in order to examine and study these universal experiences. The result of her reflections comes in the form of “PinkSlipped,” her comedic and super relatable dramedy series.
Written, created and co-directed by Priego, the series explores the lives of three Latina friends as they navigate the professional world that strongly proves to not at all be stacked in their favor.
Priego also stars as the series’ main character. In the world of PinkSlipped, Priego is an unappreciated office worker dealing with the frustration of cultural appropriation. Samantha Ramirez Herrera as the outspoken — and underpaid — Elena and Ana Ayora as the conflicted Rosie round out this trio of friends. Chances are, you’ll see yourself in at least one of these characters — or as a mix of all three.
Priego originally began work on PinkSlipped over four years ago.
During her efforts to expand the world of her web series, the Latina writer made sure to include issues that the Latinx community deals with every day. This meant not only examining her own past but asking the Latinas in her life about the problems they face.
During her research, many of the same problems kept popping up. Tokenism, racism, pay inequality, sexual assault, and discrimination based on citizenship status seemed to impact most Latina women she interviewed.
“These issues have been here and impacting our communities for decades but we were the only ones talking about it,” Priego tells FIERCE. While these experiences seemed limited in some respects to our communities, their impact is much larger. With the recent development of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements and increased concern over immigration and pay equality, the show is undoubtedly keyed into the national dialogue.
“If I would have released the show four years ago, I really do think it wouldn’t have been as powerful as it is today,” she confesses. “Now is the time that I think we can really impact change.”
Being involved in every aspect of PinkSlipped’s development was important for Priego as a Latina creative.
Her focus in front of the camera was just as crucial as it was behind the scenes when she took on the role of director, writer, and creator. In describing the process, she explained, “Representation is one thing but who gets to tell those stories is even more powerful. We need to own our narratives and need to be vocal about it.”
From the very start of her creative process, Priego knew that PinkSlipped had to be made into a web series. “We’re going through a technological revolution where more and more content is being consumed on cell phones and laptops,” she explains. “So, I wanted the show to be as easily accessible to as many people as possible.”
Priego couldn’t be more right. Hispanics as a group not only consume more streaming media than non-Hispanics according to Nielsen Media Research, Hispanics are also savvier when it comes to using mobile devices. We are also the largest consumers of media across the board.
While we can stream all of Season 1 on the PinkSlipped website and YouTube, Priego has much bigger plans for her series. Since the show’s debut, the PinkSlipped team has hosted premieres in Los Angeles (the largest Latinx market in the US) and Chicago (Priego’s hometown). The series was also recently premiered at the Atlanta office of one of their sponsors — Google.
🚨 #maschingonamonday 🚨 Check out our badass Latinx leading ladies @SamOfftharecord & @Jackypriego taking over @google Atlanta for the screening of PinkSlipped! We need to see more of this & less of what we see in the news & media. We out here to slay & control our narratives! pic.twitter.com/BOqUN7hWg3
— PinkSlippd (@pinkslippd) October 2, 2018
As awesome as private screenings across the United States sound, Priego says that she has even bigger goals for PinkSlipped. Speaking about the potential and future of her show, she says that “In order to expand the PinkSlipped universe and develop these characters and storylines even further, we need the backing of a major network.”
This could mean seeing PinkSlipped on Hulu, Netflix or HBO relatively soon, but it’s going to take support from the community. “All it takes is one person in a decision making role at one of those networks to read a story about us or see a post and see the value in what we’re doing and pick our show up,” Priego says.
Seeing PinkSlipped picked up by a major streaming service is a huge goal for the creator, but, ultimately, she’s also looking to make a societal impact. She confessed, “I want the Latinx community to feel a sense of pride and hope that stories like PinkSlipped will start popping up in the mainstream.”
When we see more representations of who we are and have those stories told by members of our community, it gives us total control of our identities and our narratives. Issues like pay equality, sexual harassment, and documented status will no longer be taboo. It’s why we’re particularly excited to see a project like PinkSlipped representing our stories and voices.