It seems that a powerful movement has begun. The support the movement is gaining spreads wide from celebrities to grass root artists speaking out and calling for “more color”. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has been fervently embraced by many influential members of the entertainment industry.
Hollywood has a had a long standing tradition of green lighting projects with “white” lead actors. A new social media campaign started by Latina actress and star of CW’s Jane the Virgin, Gina Rodriguez highlights Latino talent and revealed a startling statistic. America boasts a Latino population of over 55 million, however not one Latino actor is considered “greenlight-able”. What does that mean? A project is greenlit when studios believe their “star” name has enough bankability to pull an audience into the theatres.
With over 55 million Latinos in America alone, it stands to reason that placing Latino talent in lead and supporting roles would likely attract that large audience to the theatres in larger numbers.
The success of show’s like Jane the Virgin will hopefully pave the way for Latino flavoured shows that have longer runs than some Latino-centric shows that were unceremoniously cancelled, like The George Lopez Show, Ugly Betty and Cane to name a few.
It is an exciting time for actors of diversity. It seems diverse audiences are demanding stories that reflect their own lives. Our cities have become cultural melting points and having that reality reflected in the media we watch can only be good thing.