FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 6, 2017
10 New Latino TV Writers Join 2017 Class of the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Television Writers Program
Today, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) announced the ten individuals selected to participate in this year’s NHMC Television Writers Program: Valeska Rodriguez, Edward G. Excaliber, Lauren Otero, Beto Skubs, Efrain Colón, Ashley Soto, Montserrat Luna, Jesse Esparza, Margaret Lebron and Jimmy Mosqueda. Guided by NBC’s former vice president of script development Geoff Harris, NHMC’s five-week total immersion workshop simulates an actual writer’s room, where participants develop an original pilot or spec script, practice pitching their writing, learn how to market themselves and get an agent.
This year, guest speakers include network executives, an agent at Verve, and several graduates of the NHMC Television Writers Program who’ve gone on to become successful professional writers. TV Writers Program graduates returning to speak to the new class include Emilia Serrano, a recent co-producer on Jane the Virgin; Sierra Ornelas, a writer on NBC’s Superstore; Zayre Ferrer, a writer at StoryHouse, Univision’s production house; and Robert Diaz Leroy who has written and directed more than 15 independent films.
Writers program participants also have the opportunity to network with entertainment executives at major television studios during small events and meetings planned throughout the program. NHMC’s TV Writers Program has prepared and connected more than 100 graduates for positions on award-winning and top-rated TV shows airing on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, BET, HBO, Disney Jr., Hulu and Netflix since 2003.
Learn more about NHMC’s new class of TV writers: http://www.nhmc.org/writers-program/meet-the-writers/
“Last month, Latinos were once again absent from the Emmys–despite being 18 percent of the U.S. population–largely because TV writers in our community are not being heard and seen by the top TV networks,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “While we continue to pressure companies to hear and greenlight programs from Latino storytellers, we must also create more opportunities to mentor these writers to hone their craft, pitch their work and get to know the industry influencers who could open doors that have historically been closed to artists of color. We are proud to welcome the next Latino trailblazers to NHMC’s TV Writers Program to create programs that will spur the change we hope to see.”
Writers whose scripts show promise will be interviewed and mentored by network executives, with the goal of placing them on a show. NHMC also maintains a database with the work and contact information of all graduates to connect them with hiring staff at networks, talent agents and managers. Each participant receives a weekly stipend.
The NHMC Television Writers Program, sponsored by NBC and ABC with support from Southwest Airlines and Final Draft, was created to expand the amount of Latinos working behind the camera, as a way to increase fair and accurate portrayals of Latinos on television. According to the UCLA Bunche Center’s 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report minorities accounted for only 11.1 percent of lead roles and 5.6 percent of creators, on digital scripted shows in the 2014-’15 television season.
For more information, visit http://www.nhmc.org/writersprogram.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is the media watchdog for the Latino community, ensuring that we are fairly and consistently represented in news and entertainment and that our voices are heard over the airwaves and on the internet.
We exist to challenge executives and influencers throughout the entertainment and news industry to eliminate barriers for Latinos to express themselves and be heard through every type of medium. NHMC works to bring decision-makers to the table to open new opportunities for Latinos to create, contribute and consume programming that is inclusive, free from bias and hate rhetoric, affordable and culturally relevant.