Historic Victory for Civil Rights in the Digital Age
18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala
Media/Telecommunications Policy Update
Save the Date for NHMC MediaCon 2015
Now Accepting Submissions for NHMC TV Writers Program
NHMC joined the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) in calling on English-language broadcasters to take action to increase Latino guests on their Sunday morning talk shows. NHLA offered to work with the networks to improve their Latino representation, and reminded the network executives of NHMC’s work to identify and train a number of Latino experts in various fields who could serve as guests on their shows. The call comes after a recent report by Media Matters for America revealed that Latino voices are underrepresented in Sunday news talk shows.
Widespread community outcry erupted after entertainment industry outlet Deadline Hollywood ran an offensive and inaccurate article casting of people of color on television shows based on assertions of a few Hollywood agents. NHMC and its allies came together to condemn the article for “giving a platform to the prejudices of a few Hollywood agents who, under the cloak of anonymity, revealed themselves to be among the entertainment industry gatekeepers reluctant to change their unfair and exclusionary practices and make way for progress.” Read more on LA Weekly, NBCNews.com, and Entertainment Weekly.
After the FCC voted to adopt the strongest Open Internet rules it has ever put forth, NHMC and its allies celebrated the victory as a critical step towards equality for Latinos and other people of color in the digital age. The historic victory was won by NHMC and countless allies after nearly 10 years of sustained advocacy. The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking certain Internet content or creating Internet fast lanes for a few wealthy companies, and slow lanes for the rest of us. Read a column by NHMC’s president and CEO highlighting the importance of the civil rights victory for Latinos here. Listen to an interview featuring NHMC’s president and CEO along with Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva on Radio Bilingüe. Read more in the Los Angeles Times, Multichannel, and The Hill.
NHMC and Allies Condemn Offensive Deadline Hollywood Article
On March 25, NHMC and other advocacy groups denounced entertainment industry outlet Deadline for its March 24 article on Hollywood diversity by editor Nellie Andreeva.
The article paints a picture of so-called “reverse discrimination” in an industry in which people of color — who make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population — have been vastly underrepresented and caricatured since its inception to the present day. The piece also calls for color-blind casting, claiming that there are not enough talented people of color to fill roles and that requests for diverse talent from studios and networks cause less qualified people of color to take roles away from better qualified white actors. The article also inaccurately suggests that networks and studios have diversity quotas.
A recent report from the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center found that although people of color made “small to modest gains in several Hollywood employment arenas since the last report, they remain [demographically] underrepresented on every front.” The same report finds, however, that “increasingly diverse audiences prefer diverse film and television content.” The article overlooks the obvious fact that it is the stunning success of this season’s diverse television shows that is driving the producers and networks to ask for diverse actors–not some kind of misguided attempt to impose quotas.
In response, American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau, and National Hispanic Media Coalition issued the following statement:
“Shame on Deadline for giving a platform to the prejudices of a few Hollywood agents who, under the cloak of anonymity, revealed themselves to be among the entertainment industry gatekeepers reluctant to change their unfair and exclusionary practices and make way for progress.“The inaccuracies and misconceptions the article put forth are patently offensive and reflect a larger problem of persisting racial and ethnic bias in the entertainment industry.“Genuine progress in diversity on television is an extremely recent phenomenon and we applaud recent steps to diversify television in front and behind the camera. For full inclusion to happen, however, the entire industry’s discriminatory business model that has historically pushed out people of color needs to change.”The Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, which in 2000 signed Memoranda of Understanding with ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX in which the networks committed to increase diversity in their ranks, offered the following recommendations to Deadline and Hollywood talent agencies who question the value of diversity:
Deadline should take immediate steps to hire more reporters and editors of color to broaden its coverage of people of color in the entertainment industry and increase understanding of diversity’s value in the industry.
People of color are poorly represented in Hollywood talent agencies. We request meetings with all of the agencies to bring our concerns and talent pools to the table, and help turn this around. Studios and networks have made it clear that diversity is good business, and clearly some agents are looking for talent in the wrong places. We can help.
Deadline issued an apology on March 29.
Save the Date for NHMC MediaCon: July 9, 2015 Come join us at NHMC MediaCon the premier annual event uniquely designed to advance the image and careers of Latinos in media. It convenes 300 media and entertainment industry executives and insiders, Latino industry professionals, as well as Latinos looking to break into the industry to discuss emerging trends in entertainment and digital media, and best practices and tools as a means to help elevate Latinos in the industry.
Visit www.nhmc.org/mediacon for more information and to register.
NHMC Media/Telecommunications: Policy Shop Update
After enduring many snow days, record-breaking freezing temps, and icy-cold high winds, the NHMC policy team in DC is finally thawing out and enjoying the first days of spring. That’s not all we’re enjoying-we’re celebrating the major Net Neutrality victory that happened last month.
Net Neutrality and the Open InternetNHMC’s Day of Action
On February 12, NHMC co-hosted a Congressional Day of Action along with Presente.org and the Media Action Grassroots Network. The purpose of the Day of Action was to educate Congress about why Net Neutrality, specifically reclassifying broadband Internet access under Title II, is critical for communities of color. It included a lunchtime briefing for Capitol Hill staff featuring an NHMC moderated panel, a two-page handout called “The 6 Most Important Things To Know About Net Neutrality, Title II Reclassification, And Communities of Color,” and 17 congressional office visits with a handful of delegates from across the country. On the same day, NHMC’s Policy Director, Michael Scurato, served as a panelist at an event called “Wireless Net Neutrality: One Internet, One Set of Rules,” which was hosted by the Open Technology Institute and featured opening remarks from Sen. Al Franken.net
FCC Votes to Protect Consumers with Strong Net Neutrality Rules
On February 26, the FCC reclassified broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) as common carriers subject to its authority under Title II of the Communications Act and passed rules to preserve an open Internet – which is a fancy way of saying that ISPs are now prohibited from blocking and throttling content online or creating paid Internet fast-lanes for companies that can afford them. The FCC’s action is a landmark victory for civil rights and racial justice organizations like the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC). NHMC, recognizing the Internet is a vital space for people of color to have their voices heard, was one of the first organizations representing communities of color to urge the FCC to promulgate Network Neutrality rules many years ago. The Internet has been a level playing field that opens economic, educational, and political doors for Latinos and other people of color. Ensuring that we have strong rules on the books, and an entity that can enforce those rules, is vitally important. To learn more about NHMC’s long fight for Net Neutrality, visit www.nhmc.org/openinternetIn an effort to slow the FCC down and push back on the rules, Net Neutrality opponents on the Hill convened a series of hearings in committees and subcommittees in the House of Representatives and the Senate – to the tune of 5 hearings over the course of 8 days. Luckily, the Hill is chock full of true Net Neutrality champions, like Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Congressman Jose Serrano, Senator Cory Booker, and Senator Ed Markey, to name a few, who have pushed back against empty and inaccurate rhetoric and supported Chairman Tom Wheeler and the FCC every step of the way.
Educating Congress about Universal and Affordable Connections
Another top policy issue for NHMC is supporting reforms to modernize the Lifeline Program. Lifeline is a federal program that provides a modest subsidy to low-income consumers to help them afford basic telephone service. NHMC is a long-time proponent of expanding the Lifeline Program to fully include broadband service. Recently, a number of FCC Commissioners, including Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, have indicated that concrete proposals to modernize this important program may be on the way. NHMC has taken to the Hill with allies to educate Congressional office about Lifeline’s critical purpose for low-income consumers. In March, NHMC’s Policy Director, Michael Scurato, spoke at an event along with a number of broadband policy leaders commemorating the 5-year anniversary of the National Broadband Plan and highlighted the potential of the modernization of the Lifeline Program to help spur broadband adoption and close the digital divide.
Attention Writers: Apply for the Fall 2015 NHMC Television Writers Program
Did you know Latinos make up only 2.8% of writers staffed on television shows?
The NHMC Television Writers Program is a direct response to the lack of diverse writers in television and is inviting all Latino television writers looking to hone their skills to apply for the five week workshop that focuses on the writing of an original TV pilot or a spec episode of a series currently on TV, conducted in an environment that simulates a TV Writers Room.
Application period: April 6-August 3. Visit www.nhmc.org/writersprogram for more information and to apply.18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards GalaOn February 20, NHMC honored outstanding contributions to the positive portrayals of Latinos in media at its 18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala at the historic Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Roselyn Sanchez, star in Lifetime’s Devious Maids, and Lisa Vidal, star in BET’s Being Mary Jane, were the evening’s masters of ceremonies.
The NHMC Impact Awards Gala recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions to positive portrayals of Latinos in media. The annual gala is one of the premier Latino entertainment events in the country, hosting Hollywood’s most influential figures.
At the gala, international star Carlos Poncereceived the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for his portrayal of Felix on ABC’s comedy series Cristela. Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Melissa Fumeroreceived the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for her depiction of Detective Amy Santiago in the Fox comedy series. Jon Sedareceived the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for his role as Detective Antonio Dawson on the NBC drama Chicago P.D. Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of 20th Century Fox and Reel FX’s hit animated fantasy-adventure film The Book of Life, received an award for Outstanding Direction in a Motion Picture. In a pre-recorded message, Golden Globe-winning actress Gina Rodriguez accepted the Outstanding Performance in a Television Series award for her lead role in the CW’s hit series Jane the Virgin. NHMC presented MiTú, Inc., a media company and digital multi-channel network operator, with the inaugural Outstanding Innovation in Social Media award. “For us it’s incredible to be building this company by Latinos and for Latinos,” said MiTú Network Founding Partner and President Beatriz Acevedo, who accepted the award on behalf of the company, which has amassed a global audience of 70 million by connecting Latino creators with audiences, brands, television networks and film studios, and each other in its nearly three years of existence.
Andy Garcia presented an emotional memorial tribute to his dear friend, actress Elizabeth Peña. The late actress, who died at 55 last year, was well known for her vast body of work in film and television, including Modern Family, Resurrection Blvd, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, La Bamba, Lonestar, Jacob’s Ladder, Tortilla Soup, and her own primetime ABC series I Married Dora. In 2000, NHMC awarded Peña for her trailblazing achievements that paved the way for Latinos in Hollywood/
“From the moment I saw her I immediately knew that she was special,” Garcia said of Peña. “You have inspired me with your gift from the very start.”“With her force of nature,” Garcia recalled, “any moment you spent with her immediately became a memorable moment in your life.” She was a “true friend,” an “extraordinary person” and “extraordinary artist,” Garcia said.”What a tremendous loss.”“Elizabeth, your artistry and soul will live in all of us forever,” Garcia affirmed. “I love you and you will never be forgotten.”
Photographs from the 18th Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala may be found at www.flickr.com/nhmc. Video clips are also available at www.youtube.com/nhmcorg.
2015 NHMC Impact Awards Gala Title and Diamond Sponsors:
Other sponsors include: CBS Corporation, Southwest Airlines, NUVOtv, SOS Global Express, HBO, BabyFirst, Bright House Networks, Entravision Communications Corporation, Edison International, A+E Networks, Sprint, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Google, and The Art Laboe Foundation. T-Mobile was the official Wi-Fi sponsor. Moët et Chandon was the official champagne reception sponsor.
NHMC TV Writers Corner
Congratulations to NHMC TV Writers Program Alum Emmylou Diaz, Writers Assistant on Jane The Virgin, for co-writing the March 9th episode. Learn more about her experiences working on the show and in the NHMC Writers Program here.]]>
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a 35-year-old non-profit organization that builds bridges, creates opportunities, resources, and connects Latinx talent with the entertainment industry.