It is no secret that Latinos have been grossly underrepresented in Hollywood. And when Latino actors are included, they are often portraying criminals and domestic workers. Back in the earlier days of film and television, we were “greasers,” “banditos,” immoral and/or angry women, and comedically dim-witted individuals.
Today, however, the tides are changing, with a variety of roles being interpreted by Latinas, and people of our ethnicity and culture(s) are creating those projects which are absent. But we still have a long way to go. Here are 11 actresses in Hollywood who are holding it down for Latinos everywhere have spoken out about both the stereotypes assigned to us as a people, as well as the notion that all we look, act, and are the same.
Rosie Perez is an Afro-Puerto Rican actress who has appeared in numerous films and television shows. She has represented both Latinas and Afro-Latinas on the screen, and has experienced pushback for her fearless attitude. “The majority of Latin actresses were always playing either spitfires or maids,” Perez is noted as saying. “Now here is a woman who comes in and does leads opposite white people and black people and other Spanish people, and she’s comfortable in her skin? Gasp! How dare she.”