STATEMENT: NHMC's Alex Nogales on Acting Coach Lesly Kahn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2018

CONTACT: Clarissa Corona 213.718.0732 communications@nhmc.org

STATEMENT: NHMC’s Alex Nogales on Acting Coach Lesly Kahn

On February 25, 2018, an audio file was posted of acting coach Lesly Kahn asking a non-Latino student to pose as Latina as an experiment to get more acting jobs. In the audio Ms. Kahn told the actress to go so far as to change her name to Rosa Ramirez and get new headshots taken with dyed hair, a red dress, and sparkly earrings. Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, released the following statement in response to Ms. Kahn: “You should be deeply ashamed of yourself for the outrageous, insensitive comments you made to a student in one of your classes, especially because you say you are Jewish. The Jewish community, more than any other, knows, and has experienced extreme prejudice, racism, and discrimination over the centuries. Yet here you are, flippantly encouraging a Jewish student in front of her peers to change her name to Rosa Ramirez so that she can get some of the few jobs that are calling for a Latina actress. If that weren’t enough, you go on and on callously calling it an interesting and entertaining experiment. Shame on you. Latinos are severely underrepresented in the film and television industry, and through your words you are contributing to even less representation. Justice would be served if all the Latino students that have attended your classes get their money back because they certainly are not getting its worth from you.” Although Ms. Kahn has apologized for her actions, NHMC urges she meet with Latino leadership to discuss how she can respectfully address the issue of diversity in the entertainment industry in the future. Alex Nogales has called Ms. Kahn to discuss the matter and she has agreed to return his call.

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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.

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