Gina Torres, Selenis Leyva and More Discuss Afro-Latinx Representation


Actor Gina Torres had a “impolite awakening” early on in her profession when the “Suits” star realized that she could be pigeonholed as she sought out roles due to the colour of her pores and skin.

Torres spoke Sept. 17 throughout panel session with Black and Latinx actors organized by the African American Film Critics Association and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, to kick off Latinx Heritage Month on Sept. 17 with a dialogue in regards to the experiences of Afro-Latinx expertise within the leisure trade.

Moderated by Magdalena Albizu, director of the documentary “Negrita,” the dialog consisted of Afro-Latinx actors and creatives together with Torres, Selenis Leyva, Aida Rodriguez, Rick Gonzales, Yaya DaCosta and Sarah La Morena. Panelists shared their experiences as Afro-Latinx actors in Hollywood and mentioned how the trade can higher symbolize all Latinx cultures.

The consensus among the many panelists was that they’d all confronted being pigeonholed into sure roles due to their pores and skin coloration. Although all establish as Afro-Latinx, some stated they have been solely thought-about for roles written for Black characters whereas others have been solely seen as Latinx. Torres, who co-starred on USA Network’s “Suits” for 9 seasons, all the time felt torn between the 2.

“It was a impolite awakening and it was an entire different ball recreation since you had to decide on, or moderately I ought to say, they selected for you,” Torres stated. “Because I current Black, interval, finish of sentence, I needed to learn to be what they anticipated my exterior to match up with regardless of the expertise was of Blackness, and it was jarring and it was odd. I used to be not Black sufficient and I didn’t look Latina sufficient, and so the place do I match and the place do I am going and what does it imply?”

Gonzales, greatest recognized for his roles in CW’s “Arrow” and 2005’s “Coach Carter,” struggled to persuade executives and different actors to take him significantly.

“Why do I’ve to show to people who I do know every part they know?” Gonzales requested. “Why do I’ve to alter the best way I discuss and the best way I gown to show to them that I’ve all the time been a critical actor and I’ve the identical expertise that everybody else does?”

La Morena is a singer of African descent who was adopted by a Mexican household. She makes reggaeton and Latin music, which has resulted in backlash from many within the Latinx neighborhood.

“Recently considered one of my movies went viral and I actually received to see simply what folks actually suppose and the colorism within the Latino neighborhood is loopy,” La Morena stated. “I’ve been receiving a whole lot of hate and a whole lot of racism, however I’m truthfully grateful as a result of it simply provides me the chance to teach folks.”

In order to teach the trade, true Afro-Latinx illustration is vital, panelists stated. But, this can not occur with out the help of the Latinx neighborhood as an entire, based on Rodriguez, a comic.

“Comedy for me has develop into, along with being humorous, I really feel like there’s a duty to inform these tales as a result of there’s no person telling them,” Rodriguez stated. “When it involves illustration, there’s a critical void relating to people who find themselves not from Central America, after which they tokenize us they usually make us all stereotypes and that’s an issue.”

Leyva, an alum of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” agreed, including that folks from all Latinx cultures should come collectively to assist one another on this second.

“Are we defending our neighborhood? Are we supporting our neighborhood? I say that’s the place we’re missing. That’s our greatest downside,” Leyva stated. “At the top of the day, there may be such a divide amongst ourselves. So if we’re divided amongst ourselves, what will we anticipate the trade to do?”

For “Chicago Med” star DaCosta, this implies now not holding again her voice in an effort to please others within the trade.

“After 5 years of being what producers have referred to as amenable, nice, simple, beautiful to work with and what I now know to imply unvoiced, scared and brainwashed… It is time,” DaCosta stated. “Enough is sufficient.”

Watch the total panel beneath:


John Smith
John Smith
John Smith is a passionate writer and entertainment enthusiast. With a deep love for TV shows and movies, he delves into the world of storytelling, exploring the captivating narratives and dissecting the cliffhanger endings that leave us wanting more. Through his articles on Flick Prime, John aims to provide insightful analyses, intriguing theories, and engaging discussions surrounding the latest TV shows and movies. Join him on the journey as he unravels the mysteries and secrets of your favorite on-screen adventures.


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