Just because Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end today, doesn’t mean that we need to stop celebrating our Hispanic, Latinx/Latine siblings.
The Untitled Latinx Project (ULP) and Harness aren’t playin’ when it comes to bolstering Latinx/Latine representation in front and behind the camera. They’ve been doing the work to make Hollywood open their ears about equity and providing their communities space. The two organizations have teamed to launch DEAR Hollywood (Demanding Equal Access and Representation in Hollywood). The new creator-led initiative and call to action will be dedicated to advancing Latine equity and inclusion in Hollywood.
This announcement comes exactly one year after ULP sent an open letter to Hollywood from over 200 Latine creators demanding action to address the lack of Latine representation and inclusion throughout the industry, DEAR Hollywood will continue and further expand that mission. Working directly with television and film industry leaders to amplify Latine stories and uplift Latine talent in front of and behind the camera, the initiative aims to drive industry-wide change while continuing to educate, inspire, and activate the community to imagine and create a more equitable world.
“The entertainment industry has admired the problem of Latinx exclusion for long enough. It is time for all of us to turn our good intentions into real action and build true solutions that empower and resource Latinx storytellers. The rich talent and multi-dimensional experiences within our community are more than worthy of being reflected in their authenticity and full humanity. There is great opportunity for our entire industry in the genuine empowerment of Latinx creators,” said America Ferrera, who cofounded Harness in 2016 with Wilmer Valderrama and Ryan Piers Williams. “I am thrilled and honored that Harness is partnering with Untitled Latinx Project to incubate and launch this incredible creator-led initiative to uplift Latinx communities in the stories we see on screen and hire more Latinx talent throughout the entire film and TV industry.”
Leveraging the groups’ collective decades of experience working within Hollywood and a deep well of relationships to influence and further drive change, DEAR Hollywood will help make true Latine inclusion an industry standard by securing commitments from industry partners to these five pillars for change:
- No stories about us without us
- Greenlight our projects
- Represent all aspects of our lives and culture
- Put a limit on repeating levels
- Hire us for non-Latinx projects
“It has been one year since we wrote the letter to Hollywood to kick off this initiative and frankly, we haven’t seen the type of response we had hoped for,” added ULP leaders and trailblazing showrunners Tanya Saracho and Gloria Calderón Kellett. “While announcements of diversity, inclusion and equity programs abound, without intentionality and clearly defined action steps, they have little value. We are thrilled to work with Harness and eager to collaborate with industry leaders and partners, so we can all move the needle towards Latine inclusion and representation together.”
DEAR Hollywood will make its soft launch in October 2021 and during its pilot year plans to secure commitments from a minimum of five studios and networks to the pillars for change, create and test accountability mechanisms, design and actionable benchmarks to measure impact, and share findings with the entertainment industry and pop culture for social change field to make these practices an industry standard.
…and if you need to read up more about Latinx representation in Hollywood: