Amid Double Strike, Latino Advocacy Groups Issue Open Letter: Our “Stories Need to Be Told”

Amid Double Strike, Latino Advocacy Groups Issue Open Letter: Our “Stories Need to Be Told”

Looking at the release schedule, this summer had the potential to be the culmination of a long-awaited watershed moment for Latino representation in mainstream entertainment, coming off of hits like The Last of Us and Wednesday and heading into the premieres of Flamin’ Hot and especially Blue Beetle (considered “the first superhero movie directed (by), written (by) and starring Latinos”) as well as shows like This Fool, With Love and Primo.

“While we’re encouraged by some of the changes we have seen in recent years, we continue to deal with the repercussions of years of being actively erased and invisible on screen,” according to a new open letter from 27 Latino advocacy organizations. “We were hopeful that our long overdue cultural moment had finally arrived.”

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But with actors and writers refraining from doing press for their released projects as their guilds battle it out with the studios and streamers, the groups – who have for years worked at the industry and community levels to promote authentic Latino representation in media – fear that these movies and television shows will fall by the wayside and lose their cultural impact. As such, they have come together to make an unprecedented joint statement calling on the public to #SupportLatinoCreatives.

“It’s important that we show up for them at a time when they are not able to promote their projects,” write the groups, who also voice support for the “fight for better treatment and fair compensation,” noting that the strikes themselves have “a significantly disproportionate impact on artists from underrepresented communities.”

Read the full letter below.

Stories are more than entertainment. They are a powerful tool for social change that fuels our collective movement to build a more equitable, just world for those who have been historically underrepresented and marginalized.

Actors, writers and directors are essential to this work. As we watch them do what they do best, we are reminded that their art influences how people think and feel about our communities – both at home and abroad. While we’re encouraged by some of the changes we have seen in recent years, we continue to deal with the repercussions from years of being actively erased and invisible on screen.

For decades, our network of organizations has advocated for more authentic, inclusive representation of the Latino community in film and television, both in front and behind the camera.

  • We’ve invested in creative talent development and executive pipeline programs to prepare aspiring creators and a new generation of business leaders to succeed across our industry.
  • We’ve created our own platforms to celebrate Latino excellence in media and honor work that uplifts our communities.
  • We’ve served as cultural experts to studios, networks and producers to ensure that their projects authentically reflect our complex diversity.
  • We’ve pushed those in leadership to provide fair, adequate resources to our writers, directors and talent so they don’t encounter unnecessary barriers in bringing their stories to life.
  • We’ve insisted on better representation within existing narratives by calling out harmful and dangerous stereotypes, and we’ve held studio leadership accountable when they make irresponsible creative decisions that have serious real-world consequences.

It’s clear that we still have a long way to go, but we’re proud of our Latino creatives who are elevating our humanity and moving culture forward through their work.

We were particularly optimistic about this summer. We were approaching a critical turning point for Latino representation as we saw the return of some of our favorite shows and characters, the launch of exciting new series, and prepared for a groundbreaking moment on the big screen – the first superhero movie directed, written, and starring Latinos. We were hopeful that our long overdue cultural moment had finally arrived.

And now we are confronted with this pivotal moment across the media industry; a double strike that will have a significantly disproportionate impact on artists from underrepresented communities.

Actors and writers deserve a deal that protects their work and livelihoods, so we will continue to support them as they fight for better treatment and fair compensation. And since we represent a rapidly growing demographic with tremendous influence over the global cultural landscape, we also remain dedicated to recognizing and celebrating their artistic excellence and its invaluable role in reflecting our community and culture on screen.

For the sake of current and future generations of Latinos, we will not delay our progress any longer. We invite you to join us in our effort to amplify the work that countless Latino artists have worked so hard to create. It’s important that we show up for them at a time when they are not able to promote their projects.

Our stories are universal and need to be told. Together, we must continue to advocate for a more equitable and inclusive industry, one that respects and honors our storytellers and stories.

Together in the movement,

Acevedo Foundation

Alliance of Latinx Executives

Avenida Productions

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)

Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino

Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)

Hispanic Coalition of Small Business (HCSB)

Hispanic Federation

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

LA Collab

Latin Heat

Latino Community Foundation

Latino Film Institute

Latino Filmmakers Network

Latino Slant

LTX Connect

Luz Media

National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts

National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)

New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF)

Nosotros

Poderistas

The Latinx House

UnidosUS

Voto Latino

We Are All Human