STATEMENT: Cancellation of East Los High is a Loss for Diversity in Entertainment, Says the National Hispanic Media Coalition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2017

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Christina DiPasquale
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christina@balestramedia.com

Cancellation of East Los High is a Loss for Diversity in Entertainment, Says the National Hispanic Media Coalition

Today, Hulu announced that the Emmy-nominated series East Los High will end with an hour-long finale this fall. The show was one of the few in the scripted digital realm that was created by Latinos and had an all-Latino cast and majority Latino writing staff. More than fifty percent of East Los High’s episodes were directed by Latinos, and the series became one of the Hulu’s top 10 shows, helping draw one million unique visitors monthly to its Hulu Latino page.

East Los High won the award for Outstanding Online Series at last year’s Latino Impact Awards, hosted by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition:

“The ending of East Los High on Hulu is a tremendous loss of a show that celebrated diversity through the story it portrayed and the way it broke barriers in the entertainment industry as one of the only series to be created, produced, written by and starring Latinos. Viewers are already looking for the next series that will boldly represent them behind and in front of the camera and NHMC will continue to work with Hulu in their future efforts to support diverse and culturally relevant programming over the long term.

“This show, the first original series on Hulu to be granted a fourth season, was the big break that Latino creatives needed. The series has staffed Latino writers, including alumni of NHMC’s TV writers program, on every season and we need more opportunities to tap into the immense talent in our communities and put their stories on the screen. Every series, on TV and online, must turn their attention to aggressively competing in a market that rightly demands more diversity.”

Mauricio Mota, executive producer of East Los High, accepted NHMC’s Latino Impact Award for the series saying, “We are still going through what I call a ‘Rosita Parks’situation with Latino content both with studios and media: You can be here, but please stay in the back of the bus. We want your eyeballs but not your stories. East Los High was created knowing audiences were starving for content that was diverse, edgy, and innovative. It’s a show about English-speaking Latinos, but it relates to audiences everywhere.”

Watch Mota’s acceptance speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYHDI2t1DPY

Nine graduates of NHMC’s Latino TV Writers Program were staffed on East Los High. The writers program, currently accepting applications, is a five-week, total immersion workshop that simulates an actual writer’s room and participants develop an original pilot, practice pitching their writing and learn how to market themselves and get an agent.

The NHMC Television Writers Program, sponsored by NBCUniversal and Disney/ABC Television Group, was created to expand the number of Latinos working behind the camera, as a way to increase fair and accurate portrayals of Latinos on television. During the 2013-14 television season, Latinos composed only 2.8 percent of writers staffed on TV shows, despite the fact that the Latinos make up 18% of the U.S. population.

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.

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.

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