RELEASE: AS HOLLYWOOD CELEBRATES 90TH OSCARS®, DEMONSTRATION MARKS DECADES OF LATINO UNDERREPRESENTATION IN FILM BY INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 3, 2018

CONTACT: Clarissa Corona 213.718.0732 communications@nhmc.org

RELEASE: AS HOLLYWOOD CELEBRATES 90TH OSCARS®, DEMONSTRATION MARKS DECADES OF LATINO UNDERREPRESENTATION IN FILM BY INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES

#OscarsSoWhite

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. – As Hollywood prepares to celebrate the 90th Academy Awards, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and its Action Network held the second of two demonstrations protesting the decades-long exclusion of Latinos from on-screen and behind-the-camera roles by executives in the motion pictures industry. The demonstrations launched a national campaign targeting studio executives at Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, and the Walt Disney Studios. The Action Network represents independent writers and producers, casting, production, and entertainment marketing companies. The campaign is part of NHMC’s ongoing efforts to increase positive media portrayals of Latinos and increase Latino employment in media. The demonstration follows a similar Jan. 23 protest at the Academy Awards nominees luncheon. Re-launched during NHMC’s Impact Awards gala ceremony on February 23 was the Brown Ribbon campaign. The campaign is a push for inclusion of Latinos in the film industry. The more individuals who wear the brown ribbon and discuss its significance at galas and red carpet events like the Oscars, the more awareness is brought to the issue of Latino exclusion. At the demonstration, the day before the Oscars, the exclusion of Latinos in the film industry was commented on by several speakers, among them Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition: “This past Tuesday, February the 27th, UCLA held a press conference announcing its newest Hollywood Diversity Report. Incredibly, the numbers of Latinos working in front and back of camera in the film industry were even lower than the ones USC reported last year. Of the top 200 films produced in 2016, Latino actors were featured in only 2.7 percent of the film roles.” Alex continued, “The numbers of Latino directors and writers were just as dismal. At a time when the Latino population is 18% of the nation and buying 24% of all tickets sold at the box office, this exclusion can’t be called anything less than racist, and the studio leaders at Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony, and to a lesser extent Disney, should be ashamed of themselves for their Latino exclusion. Unless they call to meet with Latino leaders, NHMC and its Action Network will call out the studio leaders by name for their bigotry and boycott a studio at a time along with their films. Basta! Enough is enough of this incredible decades-long bigoted exclusion.” Marissa Herrera, NHMC Action Network member, producer, and third generation Mexican-American, said, “As an American-Latina creator, I am creating content in which we are no longer minimized or marginalized by an industry that wouldn’t exist without our support. Representation matters. If we don’t share our stories someone else will, or even worse they won’t. We are not invisible. Our authentic stories matter and our time is now. We are demanding a seat at the table.” “We have a president who has continually tried to whitewash Latinos out of our country — with almost non-existent proportions of cabinet, judicial, and other nominees, and with an ongoing rhetorical campaign to demonize and depict as outsiders all Latino immigrants and their family members,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel. “In this critical context, our community must reject forcefully the influential motion picture industry’s complicit and continued exclusion of Latinos both in front and behind the camera.” Santiago Pozo, founder and chief executive officer, Arenas Entertainment, added, “The Hollywood business model is broken. It is a systemic problem in our industry that keeps Latinos invisible. To exclude the alpha consumer in front and behind the camera does enormous damage to the development of our community, the prosperity of our industry, and the health of our nation. It is obvious that we critically need Latino and Latina executives in positions of real power to bring the lens of diversity and inclusion to the entertainment business. If our children grow up without role models, pride in their culture and positive views of their heritage, both indigenous and Spanish, we will be an increasingly marginalized and alienated society with very damaging consequences. ¡ES UNA VERGÜENZA!” For interviews, please contact Clarissa Corona, at communications@nhmc.org or at 213.718.0732.

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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.

Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.

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