Earlier this week, a red carpet interview of Gina Rodriguez went viral after she railed Hollywood studios for the lack of Latino representation in films. Fans and supporters across the internet praised Rodriguez for speaking up and highlighting a critical issue the entertainment industry.
On Thursday, Rodriguez took her comments a step further with an essay about the significance of putting more Latinos on screen.
In an essay published by Variety, the “Jane the Virgin” star describes why being “seen and heard is a simple human need.”
“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,” she writes.
Rodriguez also used her essay to point to the industry’s failure to portray the various groups that make up the Latino community.
“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,” Rodriguez explained.
In recent years, the Latina TV star’s influence on the industry has steadily grown.
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Rodriguez has actively used her platform to spotlight Latinos and their absence in entertainment and media. She’s also used her pull and increasing popularity to promote actors of color. Her #MovementMonday posts are an active effort on her part to ensure the inclusivity of POC in television and film projects. Her production company I Can & I Will has also worked to push her agenda. By the end of last year, the company sold two projects that were Latino-centric to CBS TV.
“I have so much pride for the work I have been blessed to be part of, including my latest film, Sony’s ‘Miss Bala.’ Not only does this film have a female Latino lead and other amazing Latino talent but we also filmed in Mexico with a 95% Latino crew,” Rodriguez wrote in her essay. “I sincerely thank and applaud Sony for being one of the leader’s [sic] in trying to move the needle forward.”