A New Initiative Aims to Double Latinx Representation in Hollywood by 2030
A new initiative in Los Angeles wants to double Latinx representation in Hollywood over the next decade. LA Collab is a “collective impact group” made up of industry insiders and allies founded by Beatriz Acevedo (founder of media company MiTú and president of the Acevedo Foundation) and Ivette Rodriguez (president of marketing and communications collective AEM) with support by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office.
LA Collab will connect Latinx talent in front of and behind the camera with creatives and executives to increase the number of Latinx working in entertainment. “That’s really the spirit, the spirit to reach out to our industry colleagues and ask for their collaboration, ask for their allyship,” Rodriguez told Supermajority News.
The collaboration is still fundraising but has raised at least a quarter-million dollars, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Organizations that have already pledged opportunities for the initiative include horror powerhouse Blumhouse Productions, J.J. Abrams’s Bad Robot, and Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, in addition to a number of others.
Rodriguez said one of the next steps for LA Collab is to populate and track the “Database of Latino Working Talent in Hollywood.” Latinx representation in film remains low. The University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reported in August 2019 that Latinos have only represented 3 percent of leading and co-leading roles in movies from 2007-2018. Despite this stagnation, in 2018, the Motion Picture Association of America found that Latinos make up nearly a quarter of box office sales.
Los Angeles is the best place to launch an initiative like LA Collab, Garcetti said in a statement. “Latinos are a powerful force in L.A.’s culture and economy, and our trademark industry should tap into the diverse pool of talent in our own backyard,” Garcetti said in a statement. “On big screens or small, in front of the camera or behind it, our studios, actors, directors, and producers inspire the world with the power of their creativity and imagination — and LA Collab will elevate new voices and empower the next generation of Latinx creatives.”
Rodriguez said there has never been a better time to push for more cultural representation. “When El Paso happened, when the caged kids happened, when a teenage girl gets run over because she’s Mexican, that’s what hits me. Our community is being unfairly targeted because of the political rhetoric of this country,” she told Supermajority News. “Yet, we’re invisible in history books, and we’re invisible in movies. The subsequent consequences of that is our people being attacked.”
The ask for collaborators was simple, Rodriguez told Supermajority News. “We’re not the only people who are super concerned,” she said. “Do you agree this is an issue? Do you want to be a part of the solution?”
The group’s doors are wide open to anyone who wants to help. “I’m here. I want your allyship. I want you to open doors for Latinos. That might sound lofty or even naive, but it’s the goal,” Rodriguez told Supermajority News.