"The industry thinks we're foreign," said musician and veteran actor Rubén Blades,
..."We are culturally excluded."
And this pisses me off so much. I have something to say.
My hero for a majority of my life was my [step]grandfather who was an actor. He'd go over his lines with me, he'd tell me crazy Hollywood stories about his interactions with other Latino actors. He, along with my stepfather, also made sure I understood the history of Hollywood and the art of Cinema, from the Mexican perspective. When talking about other actors there was either, "so-and-so" or, "so-and-so from Chihuahua." As a kid I had the impression that Latinos had a special place in Hollywood. So naturally, in my teen years I fell in love with Cinema partly because it was in my "blood" and it became kind of an honor.
And then I grew to see the landscape change. Tata was gone. And so was this Latino Hollywood. I worked in entertainment management and then at a theatre/acting school - Latino Hollywood was non existent. It was like someone erased that specific Brown from the color spectrum. And yeah, the absence of any Asian/Pacific Islander representation was even worse. But I knew it wasn't that there weren't folks trying to work as actors. These actors aren't afforded the resources or opportunities to even walk through the door. If it means it's in front of the camera.
Tomorrow there's a great chance that Chivo will be acknowledged for his mastery - for the third time in a row. Another Mexican will be written in history as one of the greatest cinematographers of all time! And it's exciting. But what does this say for representation of Browness in society, as actors reflect the world we live in. What does it mean that we're culturally excluded from sight and sound, but not from the technical aesthetics of Cinema. It's okay that we can be the greatest directors, photographer's, writers, even comedians and silly tv show hosts. But to represent the 'American' culture and people. Not if it's not a movie about Selena.