Tanya Saracho Among Top TV & Film Creators Demanding More Latinx Representation in Hollywood

Tanya Saracho is calling for more Latinx representation in Hollywood…

The Mexican playwright, screenwriter and actress is among some of the top creators in television and film who are demanding for change when it comes to Latinx representation as Hispanic Heritage Months comes to an end.

Tanya Saracho

In an open letter to Hollywood more than 270 Latinx showrunners, creators, and television and feature writers, including Saracho, Lin-Manuel MirandaGloria Calderon-Kellett, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Steven Canals, John Leguizamo, Linda Yvette-Chavez, Carolina Paiz, Marco Ramirez, Javier Grillo-Marxuach and more are calling for systemic change in the entertainment industry.

The letter begins: “As we come to the end of Hispanic Heritage Month in the midst of a global pandemic and continued racial injustice, many of us in the Latinx community have found it difficult to celebrate. Inspired by the activism of the Black and Indigenous communities, many of whom also identify as Latinx, we stand in solidarity with our fellow Black, Native and Indigenous writers, co-signing their WGAW Open Letters and echoing their demands for systemic change in our industry.”

“As Latinx Showrunners, Creators, TV and Feature Writers, we are incensed by the continued lack of Latinx representation in our industry, especially among the Black and Indigenous members of our community,” the letter continues. “Our stories are important, and our erasure onscreen contributes to the persistent prejudice that prevents real change in this country. This prejudice is not as overt as the one that keeps immigrant children in cages and separates families at the border, or as violent as the racism that is killing our Black, Brown, and Indigenous community members at the hands of police.”

“But when we are onscreen, we’re often relegated to stereotypes or villains. And as a recent​ ​New York Times OpEd​ states, ‘White elites cannot muffle a huge, vibrant community for decades and not expect consequences. For Latinos in the Trump era, these consequences are deadly, from Hurricane Maria to the Walmart shooting in El Paso and the pandemic, as well as soaring hate crimes.’”

The letter points out that the Latinx community makes up 18.3% of the U.S. population but it is not reflected in film and TV. There are only 4.7% feature writers and 8.7% TV writers that are Latinx. As Latinx writers move up to Showrunner level, the stats only get more dismal. “By refusing to tell our stories AND by refusing to put us in charge of telling them — Hollywood power brokers are complicit in our exclusion,” the letter remarks.

This is even further supported by a recent study from CAA and Parrot Analytics, which shows that even though television shows are a lot more diverse than they were three years ago, not all racial and ethnic groups were equally well represented in scripted debuts. Latinos and Hispanics remain significantly underrepresented despite being one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country.

While there are shows like One Day At A Time that having managed to get multiple season orders, there have been other Latino-fronted shows in the past years, like The Baker and the Beauty and United We Fall — that have been canceled before getting the chance to find their footing beyond one season.

The letter can be summarized with three words included heavily throughout: “We are tired.”

The open letter does not mince words with the demands and draws out exactly what needs to be done including creating stories for and about the Latinx community by Latinx creators; greenlighting Latinx-fronted projects; respecting all aspects and intersections of the Latinx cultural representation; and hiring Latinx creators for non-Latinx projects.

The letter, which was posted on social channels with the hashtag #EndLatinXclusion, closes with “Stories are powerful. Stories change the world. Let’s get on the right side of history so we can continue to create needed change and tell captivating stories together.”

This initiative was launched by the Untitled Latinx Project (ULP) founded by Saracho. It’s an all-Latina advocacy group formed to increase representation of Latinx created stories for television. The goal of this call to action was uniting the professional community of Latinx writers, creators and showrunners.

Read the letter in full here.

Pop TV to Premiere the Fourth Season of Justina Machado’s “One Day at a Time” in March

Justina Machado’s new Dayhas come…

Pop TV has scheduled Tuesday, March 24 as the fourth-season premiere of One Day at a Time, starring the 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress.

Justina Machado

Produced by Sony Pictures Television, the new 13-episode season will premiere at 9:30 pm following new episodes of the final season of Schitt’s Creek before moving to 9:00 pm, beginning April 14.

Inspired by Norman Lear’s 1975 series, the comedy will continue to tell the story of the Cuban American Alvarez family. This season will find Penelope (Machado) exploring a surprising relationship, her mother Lydia (Rita Moreno) experiencing a religious crisis – as well as revealing the details of her surprise trip to Cuba with Dr. Berkowitz (Stephen Tobolowsky), and Schneider (Todd Grinnell) finding his relationship with Avery (India de Beaufort) growing deeper. Meanwhile, Elena (Isabella Gomez) begins to prepare for college and Alex (Marcel Ruiz) starts to date.

“The enthusiastic response from fans since announcing our new season of One Day at a Time has been thrilling,” said Brad Schwartz, President, Pop TV. “The series is more important than ever with its unmatched ability to tackle topical social issues through the lens of a relatable, loving family. The exceptionally talented team behind and in front of the camera make us proud to have ONE DAY AT A TIMEat home at Pop TV.”

Pop TV rescued the revived series after Netflixcanceled the show following its third season.

One Day at a Time is produced by Act III Productions, Inc.,Snowpants Productionsand GloNation in association with Sony Pictures Television, with Norman LearMike RoyceGloria Calderón Kellettand Brent Millerserving as executive producers.

Imagen Foundation to Honor Luisa Leschin with Writing Honor at This Year’s Imagen Awards

Luisa Leschin has the writestuff…

The 66-year-old El Salvadoran & Guatemalan television producer, actress, and voice-over artistwill be honored with the Norman Lear Writer’s Award at the 34th Annual Imagen Awards, which will be held August 10 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Luisa Leschin

Leschin is an industry veteran who has produced shows like George LopezEverybody Hates Chrisand East Los HighShe currently is the co-executive producer of the Netflixoriginal series Mr. Iglesias starring Gabriel Iglesiasand Sherri Shepherd.

“Norman Lear is a towering legend in the entertainment industry having create some of Hollywood’s most ground-breaking sitcoms,” said Leschin. “He has inspired every writer to think beyond the norm and is someone I have always looked up to. I’m beyond honored.”

Leschin has had her hand in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. She began her career as a ballet dancer then turned to acting, having appeared in many iconic TV series including Beverly Hills 90210Love BoatER,QuincyFalcon CrestHill St. Blues and others. On the feature side, she has appeared in Saturday Night Fever and True Confessions.

The Norman Lear Writer’s Award honors those that have exhibited efforts towards increasing diversity within all aspects of the entertainment industry. Past recipients include Gloria Calderon KellettPeter Murrieta, John LeguizamoFred Armisenand Roberto Orci.

Justina Machado to Direct an Episode of Newly Picked Up “One Day At a Time”

Justina Machado is heading behind the lens…

The 46-year-old Puerto Rican actress will expand her role on the upcoming fourth season of One Day At A Time on its new network Pop

Justina Machado

In addition to reprising her starring role of Penelope, Machado will receive a producer credit and will direct one episode in Season 4.

Pop has ordered a 13-episode fourth season of the Norman Lear comedy to debut in 2020.

The pickup, announced recently, comes three months after Netflix in March canceled One Day at a Time, a reimagining of the classic Norman Lear sitcom, triggering outpouring of support from fans who rallied behind the multi-generational comedy starring Machado and Rita Moreno.

For Season 4,One Day At a Time developers, executive producers and showrunners Gloria Calderon Kellettand Mike Roycewill touch on politics as it will air during an election year, as the show switches from a binge model to airing once a week.

Machado also is known for her roles as Darci Factor on the CW’s Jane the VirginVanessa Diaz on HBO’s Six Feet Under, and Brenda on the USA drama Queen of the South

Netflix to Launch Season 3 of Justina Machado’s “One Day at A Time” in February

Justina Machado will get herDayin February…

Netflix has announced a February launch date for Season 3 of its critically acclaimed comedy series One Day at A Time, starring the 46-year-old Puerto Rican actress.

Justina Machado

The 13-episode third season of the reimagining of the iconic Norman Lear sitcom will debut on February 8.

One Day at a Time, produced by Sony Pictures Television, follows three generations of a Cuban-American family sometimes-reluctantly cohabitating and navigating the ups and downs of life. A newly-single mom and military veteran journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising two strong-willed, mega-millennial children, all the while enlisting the “help” of her old-school mother and her building manager-turned-invaluable confidante.

The returning cast includes Machado, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Stephen Toblowsky, Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz.

This season co-creator, executive producer and co-showrunner Gloria Calderon Kellett will step in front of the camera for a two-episode arc as Nicole, the new woman in Victor’s (James Martinez) life. She’ll also direct the final two episodes of the season. Gloria Estefan also is set to guest star in Season 3.

Ana Villafañe Signs Talent Deal with ABC Studios/ABC Entertainment

Ana Villafañe has a new deal…

The 29-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress and singer has a signed a one-year overall talent deal with ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment.

Ana Villafañe

Under the pact, ABC Studios and ABC will target comedy and drama projects for Villafañe.

Villafañe made her Broadway debut portraying Gloria Estefan in the TonyAward-nominated hit musical On Your Feet!, earning the 2016 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut Performance.

On the screen, she played the female lead in Max Steel and has appeared on Amazon’s Mozart in the Jungle.

Most recently, she starred in the Sony Television Studios/CBS Studios/CBS half-hour multi-camera pilot History of Them, written and executive produced by Gloria Calderon Kellett.

Villafañe will return to the New York stage later this month in a new comedy by Jen SilvermanCollective Rage, being produced by MCC.

Raúl Castillo to Appear on Season 3 of Netflix’s “One Day At A Time”

It’s a new Day for Raúl Castillo

The 40-year-old Mexican American actor has landed a recurring role on the upcoming third season of Netflix’s One Day At A Time.

Raúl Castillo

Castillo will play Mateo, a dad friend of Penelope’s (Justina Machado) from school, who turns into something more.

A reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family navigating the ups and downs of life. A newly-single mom and military veteran journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising two strong-willed, mega-millennial children, all the while enlisting the “help” of her old-school mother and her building manager-turned-invaluable confidant.

Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Grinnelland Marcel Ruiz also star.

Norman Lear executive produces, with Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce executive producing and co-showrunning.

One Day at a Time is produced by Sony Television Productions for Netflix.

Castillo, who rose to acclaim on HBO’s Looking, stars as Paps in the film We the Animals, based on the Justin Torres novel and directed by Jeremiah Zagar. He was most recently seen in ensemble series Seven Seconds, Ricky Gervais’ Special Correspondents opposite America Ferrera, Joe Swanberg’s anthology drama series Easy, and the Robia Roshid-created Atypical, all on Netflix.

Gloria Estefan to Guest Star on Netflix’s “One Day At A Time”

Gloria Estefan’s Day has arrived…

The 60-year-old Cuban singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman will guest star opposite Rita Moreno in an episode of the upcoming third season of Netflix’s One Day At A Time.

Gloria Estefan

The Grammy winner, who sings the show’s theme song, a Cuban-tinged cover of the original sitcom’s opener— will play Mirtha, Lydia’s (Moreno) baby sister and arch-nemesis.

A reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time follows three generations of a Cuban-American family navigating the ups and downs of life. A newly-single mom and military veteran journeys through the triumphs and tribulations that come with raising two strong-willed, mega-millennial children, all the while enlisting the “help” of her old-school mother and her building manager-turned-invaluable confidant.

Justina Machado, Stephen Tobolowsky, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez and Marcel Ruiz also star.

Norman Lear executive produces, with Gloria Calderon Kellett and Mike Royce executive producing and co-showrunning.

One Day at a Time is produced by Sony Television Productions for Netflix.

Ana Villafañe Lands Lead Role in CBS’ Comedy Project “History of Them”

Ana Villafañe is ready to make history

The 28-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran-American actress/singer, the star of the Gloria Estefan Broadway musical On Your Feet!, will star as the female lead in CBS’ comedy project History of Them.

Ana Villafañe

From One Day at a Time co-creator/executive producer Gloria Calderon Kellett. the semi-autobiographical project is a multi-cultural (Latinx & white) romantic comedy about how two friends, Luna (Villafañe) and Adam, fell in love, narrated by their future daughter, using the couple’s social media from present-day (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook) as a guide.

Villafañe’s smart and spunky Luna runs a successful Latinx food truck business with her parents. Despite this, she struggles with what she wants and doesn’t feel like a fully-fledged grown up yet. She wants to find love and figure out who she is separate from her very tight-knit family, and her journey will be full of bumps and bruises as she navigates the rest of her twenties.

Director Pam Fryman, who helmed several episodes of Netflix’s One Day at a Time reboot, including the key opening one, has come on board as director/executive producer.

History of Them, from Sony Pictures Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, landed at CBS in August in a very competitive situation with a big pilot production commitment. While it hasn’t been formally picked up to pilot yet, attaching Villafañe and Fryman, combined with the size of the commitment, a green light is expected.

Kellett executive produces via her Glo Nation banner alongside Marc Provissiero of Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment and Fryman.

Villafañe made her Broadway debut as Gloria Estefan in the hit musical On Your Feet!, earning the 2016 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut Performance. On the screen, she played the female lead in Max Steel and starred in the Hulu original series South Beach. Her other credits include Los Americans, Rizzoli & Isles and Mozart in the Jungle.

History Of Them marks Kellett’s return to CBS and to the hybrid comedy format. She began her writing career as a staff writer on the network’s hybrid comedy series How I Met Your Mother, which was executive produced and directed by Fryman.