Ricky Velez Signs with William Morris Endeavor (WME) 

Ricky Velez is ready for new endeavors

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has signed the Latino comedian for representation in all areas.

Ricky Velez

Velez has an upcoming one-hour comedy special titled Ricky Velez: Here’s Everythingexecutive produced by himself, Judd Apatow, and Pete Davidson—debuting on October 23 via HBO.

On the acting front, the Queens native starred in (and co-produced) the 2020 film, The King of Staten Island. He’s also appeared in Netflix’s Master of None.

Velez was a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and has appeared on Comedy Central’s This Week at the Comedy Cellar.

Guillermo Diaz to Star in Universal Pictures’ Historic LGBTQ+ Film “Bros”

Guillermo Diaz is ready for Bros time…

The 46-year-old will star in Universal Pictures’ in Bros, which will make history as the first romantic comedy from a major studio about two gay men, and the first studio film featuring an entirely LGBTQ+ principal cast, with queer actors taking on queer roles, as well as all heterosexual characters.

Guillermo Diaz

Diaz will star opposite Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, TS Madison, Miss Lawrence, Symone and Guy Branum in the project.

Nicholas Stoller is directing the film, which he co-wrote with Eichner. The latter will make history of his own as the first openly gay man to co-write and star in his own studio film.

Bros is billed as a smart, swoony and heartfelt comedy about two gay men—played by Eichber and Macfarlane—maybe, possibly, probably, stumbling towards love. Maybe. They’re both very busy.

The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 12, 2022.

Judd Apatow is producing the project alongside Stoller and Josh Church, with Eichner executive producing. The film is a co-production of Stoller’s Global Solutions and Apatow’s Apatow Productions.

“I could not be more proud or excited about the historic nature of the all openly LGBTQ+ cast of Bros. After queer actors have spent decades watching straight actors capitalize both artistically and professionally by playing LGBTQ+ characters, it is a long overdue dream come true to be able to assemble this remarkable, hilarious cast,” said Eichner. “And while Bros may be the first of its kind in several ways, my real hope is that it is only the first of many opportunities for openly LGBTQ+ ensembles to shine and show the world all we are capable of as actors, beyond just being the wacky sidekick, token queer or a straight movie star’s ‘gay best friend.’ And beyond all of that, this cast is f*cking hysterical and you’re going to love them.”

Diaz is best known for portraying Diego “Huck” Muñoz in the drama series Scandal. Díaz has made guest appearances on Chappelle’s ShowLaw & OrderWeedsERBroad City, and Girls.

Henry R. Muñoz III Acquires Funny or Die

Henry R. Muñoz III is preparing for a little funny business…

The 61-year-old Latino designer, activist and philanthropist has acquired early digital video player Funny or Die.

Henry R. Muñoz III

Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Judd Apatow and Chris Henchy co-founded Funny or Die in 2007. Ferrell and McKay appeared in one of the company’s first breakout clips, The Landlord.

Muñoz bought Funny Or Die from its former stakeholders, a group that included AMC Networks, Turner Entertainment and Sequoia Capital. Ferrell will continue to collaborate creatively with Funny Or Die and serve as an advisor.

Muñoz be sole owner of the Funny Or Die brand, and the acquisition also includes its library, longform slate and social media portfolio of more than 40 million followers.

Financial terms for the transaction were not disclosed.

After the transaction, Muñoz will become chairman of Funny or Die. Mike Farah will continue as CEO. Michele Rosette, who has been the CFO of Funny Or Die since 2016, will remain in her role. Joe Farrell, who oversees Funny Or Die’s longform slate, has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer.

From its roots in short-form, viral video, Funny or Die has evolved into a supplier of series like Brockmire, whose run on IFC ended last year, and this year’s History of Swear Words on Netflix.

Other credits include true crime docuseries For Heaven’s Sake on Paramount + and the Feeding America Comedy Special for NBC.

The pivot followed challenges in recent years as smaller video purveyors have faced daunting economics when reckoning with the forces of tech giants like YouTube and Facebook. Like many digital outlets, Funny or Die had to lay off staff and restructure as it navigated the 2010s.

The arrival of Muñoz will enable the company to deficit-finance certain projects, the company said, promising to reveal more specifics about that strategy at a later date.

A CBS special produced by Funny or Die last fall connected the company with Muñoz and wound up leading to the acquisition. Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event, hosted by Eva Longoria, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, celebrated America’s diversity with a focus on Latinx culture and highlighted the impact of Covid-19.

Muñoz has operated at high levels in the realms of politics, art, business, public affairs and philanthropy. In addition to his own design practice, he has launched national movements including Momento Latino, TheDream.US and Latino Victory in support of the Latinx community. He is the cofounder of SOMOS US, a healthcare network in New York treating largely immigrant communities. It has been on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

His design firm, Muñoz & Company, is one of the largest and oldest minority-owned design practices in the country. It pioneered an approach to architecture, urban planning, and design that acknowledges the imprint of the Latino community. He also helped with the effort to create a Latino Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC, and is the Finance Chairman Emeritus of the Democratic National Committee, the first openly gay, openly Latino and openly Texan person to hold that position.

“The future of comedy and entertainment is in companies that empower talent and creative forces to make content that reflects the cultural identity of our country at this moment in our history,” Muñoz said in the official deal announcement. “Funny Or Die’s own rich history as a place of innovation and as a voice of new generations speaks for itself and our team led by Mike Farah is poised to seize this unique moment. I understand the responsibilities of owning a brand like Funny Or Die and I am excited to work with our team to make sure we have the resources we need to develop funny, original and diverse new content.”

He went on to note the importance of his sole ownership of the company. “I also understand the importance of being one of the very few Latinos in a position like this in the entertainment industry and I will do my best to make my community, our industry and our country proud as we move forward,” he added. Diversity and inclusion will be more central to the company’s mission moving forward, he noted.

Farah said Muñoz’s “unique background in social activism and business” makes him the “perfect person to guide FOD into the future.” He added, “The company is in great hands with Henry, and he’s brought a new sense of purpose to our mission to empower original, authentic creators in comedy and beyond.”

Pedro Pascal to Star in “The Last of Us,” HBO’s Series Adaptation of Sony Playstation Franchise

You haven’t yet seen the last of Pedro Pascal

The 45-year-old Chilean actor and The Mandalorian star is set to headline The Last of Us, HBO’s high-profile series adaptation of the Sony Playstation franchise from Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann.

Pedro Pascal

Based on the critically acclaimed video game The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog exclusively for the PlayStation platforms, the story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Pascal’s Joel, tormented by past trauma and failure, must trek across a pandemic-ravaged America, all the while protecting a girl who represents the last hope of humanity.

This marks a homecoming for Pascal who became a household name with his role as Oberyn Martell on HBO’s mega hit Game Of Thrones

Pascal currently stars in Disney+’s hugely popular and acclaimed series The Mandalorian, which recently received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama Series. He will continue on the Star Wars series, where he is used sparingly because of the nature of his character, though The Last Of Us has him in first position.

The actor recently became available for a new series, attracting multiple big offers from top premium networks and streamers, opting to do The Last Of Us.

Pascal is coming off starring as the villain, Max Lord, in Wonder WomanPedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal to Star in Judd Apatow’s Netflix Comedy “The Bubble”

Things are bubbling up for Pedro Pascal

The 45-year-old Chilean actor has been cast in Judd Apatow’s next comedy The Bubble for Netflix.

Pedro Pascal

Pascal, who recently starred in Wonder Woman 1984, joins a cast that includes Karen GillanIris Apatow, Fred ArmisenMaria Bakalova, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Mann and Peter Serafinowicz.

Apatow will direct and produce the film, as well as co-write the script with Pam Brady.

The film follows a group of actors and actresses stuck inside a pandemic bubble at a hotel attempting to complete a film. The film couldn’t be more timely as more and more productions are ramping back up even as COVID-19 remains in full effect around the world.

Once Netflix boarded the project, it quickly was fast-tracked with a plan to start shooting at the top of 2021. The plan also always has been to deliver a cast that rivals previous A-list ensembles like those for The Disaster Artist and Knives Out.

Rita Moreno Dons ‘Vote’ Mask as Part of When We All Vote’s New ‘Get Out The Vote’ Campaign

Rita Moreno isn’t masking her feelings about the importance of voting this year…

With the November election right around the corner, the 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actress and Latina icon is encouraging people to do their civic duty without uttering a single word.

Rita Moreno

Moreno is taking part in When We All Vote’s new campaign.

Director and producer Allen Hughes has brought together a wide range of artists, athletes, industry leaders, and notable community members wearing a “VOTE” face covering to inspire maximum voter participation.

When We All Vote

Those taking part in this year’s mask campaign include Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Robert De Niro, Larry David, Megan Rapinoe, Sean Penn, David Crosby, Snoop Dogg, Diane von Furstenberg, Padma Lakshmi, Sterling K Brown, Tyler Oakley, Kevin Love, Ron Howard, Judd Apatow, Lindsey Vonn, Michael Keaton, Bryan Cranston, Sandra Oh, Steve Buscemi, Pamela Adlon, Christopher Poindexter, Rita Moreno, Iliza Shlesinger, and Deepak Chopra, along with healthcare worker Cady Chaplin.

“This is clearly an existential election year, and it’s critical that every eligible voter in every community engage in this election,” Hughes says. “The very soul of our nation is on the ballot November 3rd, 2020.”

Launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, When We All Vote uses a data-driven approach to increase participation in elections. The group focuseson increasing participation in every election while closing the race and age voting gap. The goal is to change the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.

In addition, Michelle Obama has added Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Megan Rapinoe, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, and Rita Wilson to this year’s co-chair list.

For more information on the organization and its new campaign, visit whenweallvote.org.

Ricky Velez to Record First Comedy Special at HBO

Ricky Velez is bringing the laughs…

The half-Puerto Rican Stand-up comedian/actor will team up with Judd Apatow for his first comedy special at HBO

Ricky Velez

Velez’s untitled special is set to tape later this year.

Velez will be reteaming with Apatow following their work together on feature The King of Staten Island, which Apatow, co-wrote, directed and produced, and Velez appeared in and co-produced.

Apatow will executive produce the special with Velez, along with Jon KamenMeredith BennettNeal Marshall and Dave Sirulnick

Mike Bonfiglio will direct the special and produce with Josh Church.

George Lopez to Take Part in Comedy Fundraiser for Feeding America

George Lopez is helping to feed America

The 59-year-old Mexican American comedian and actor will take part in the Byron Allen-driven comedy fundraiser for Feeding America.

George Lopez

The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, May 10 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET, with NBCbroadcasting the show. 

In addition to Lopez, the program will include participation from Sebastian Maniscalco, JB SmooveJim GaffiganJudd Apatow, Jack BlackCedric the EntertainerWhitney CummingsJim GaffiganBrad GarrettWhoopi GoldbergKevin James, Sarah Silverman and Kenan Thompson.

Others taking part include Kevin HartChris RockAdam SandlerEddie MurphyBilly Crystal, Marlon WayansHowie MandelTiffany HaddishBrad GarrettTaraji P. HensonLouie AndersonMargaret Cho, Kenan ThompsonMarc MaronJon LovitzCaroline RheaByron AllenBilly Gardell, Tim MeadowsJamie KennedyBill Engvalland Sheryl Underwood.

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group television production division Entertainment Studios and Funny or Die will be producing the live-streaming comedy event.

The fundraiser will support the hunger-relief organization Feeding America

Additionally, the event will livestream on the Allen Media Group TV networks Comedy.TV and The Weather Channel, as well as on the free streaming service app Local Now.

Pre-recorded comedy segments will be featured during the three-hour event. Committed to appearing are Hart, Sandler, Murphy, Rock, etc.

Allen, founder/chair/CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group, said the benefit will help hungry people who are straining the resources of the nation’s food banks during the pandemic shutdown. 

“Laughter is often the best medicine, and we are extremely motivated to bring attention to issues of food insecurity, and to assist in providing meals to families across the country who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said Wednesday.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has created is shining a light on the fragile nature of people’s household budgets,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks. “Millions more of our neighbors are turning to food banks for help and we cannot thank Byron Allen and Allen Media Group enough for their support to raise funds and awareness of our work.”

Josh Segarra to Star in Netflix’s Comedy Series “AJ and the Queen” with RuPaul

Josh Segarra has landed a royalproject…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican actor has joined the cast of AJ and the Queen, Netflix’s upcoming comedy series starring RuPaul Charles.

Josh Segarra

Written by Sex and the City creator Michael Patrick King and RuPaul, the series stars RuPaul as Ruby Red, a bigger-than-life but down-on-her-luck drag queen who travels across America from club to club in a rundown 1990s R/V with her unlikely sidekick AJ, a recently orphaned, tough-talking, scrappy 11-year-old stowaway. As these two misfits, one tall, one small, travel from city to city, Ruby’s message of love and acceptance winds up touching people and changing their lives for the better. And RuPaul performs a killer musical number in every drag club.

Segarra will play Hector in the series.

He can be seen as Jason in the feature remake of Overboard for MGM, as Adrian Chase/Prometheus on the CW’s Arrow and ‘C.O’ Stefanovic on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.

His other recent credits include Judd Apatow’s feature film Trainwreck and USA comedy series Sirens.

Gina Rodriguez Receives Bill of Rights Award from the ACLU of Southern California 

Gina Rodriguez fits the bill

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Jane the Virgin star was honored Sunday by the ACLU of Southern California at the group’s annual Bill of Rights dinner.

Gina Rodriguez

Rodriguez received the Bill of Rights award for her the tireless efforts she puts toward women’s rights and support for immigration as part of her work.

Throughout her career, Rodriguez has been backed up her beliefs in her professional work, with socially-conscious projects like Jane the Virgin, which earned her a Golden Globe, and upcoming shows like Femme, dealing with millennial feminists; and Illegal, dealing with the current climate surrounding immigrant families.

Last month, she fired both her agency and management company, APA and Primary Wave Entertainment, with both linked in the wave of sexual harassment and abuse scandals plaguing Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rodriguez was tearful in detailing what the ACLU recognition meant to her as a Latino representative.

“For those of us who make our living in Hollywood, the images that affect our fellow humans are our responsibility. So I accept this award and in doing so accept my responsibility to present a positive image to all those who look to me for inspiration. I will never stop trying to make this country a place where people of all races and ethnicities can feel accepted,”  she said.

Others on hand lauded for their outspoken social advocacy included Oscar-winning actresses Viola Davis and Jane Fonda; producers Judd Apatow and Reginald Hudlin; and famed labor leader Dolores Huerta, who was given the Lifetime Advocate for Justice Award.