At a time when the representation of the Hispanic community in all spheres is more than urgent, the transformation of narratives on the small and big screen seems to be finally bearing fruit.
We’re no longer talking about how many Latinos made it to the red carpet or how many Hispanics are leading corporate boards. We are now talking about how we are represented and the definitive break with stereotypes.
But in politics, the road is even more tortuous.
Barack Obama will always be remembered as the first African-American president of the United States, but also the first to take over social media — something we didn’t know we would regret with Donald Trump.
However, for the idea of a president of color to materialize in the country, the seed had to be planted in the collective unconscious many years before — 68 to be precise.
The first time a movie showed a black president was Babes on Broadway with Judy Garland in 1941. The actress, dressed as a black man, sang “Franklin Delano Jones,” referring to the first black president in the country, something far from being discussed in national politics.
In 1972, James Earl Jones played a black president in a position of moral authority for the adaptation of Irving Wallace’s The Man; Richard Pryor did the same five years later on The Richard Pryor Show, and by 1997 the iconic film The Fifth Element featured Tom Lister, Jr. as the president of planet earth.
Thus, the idea of a president of color became more and more entrenched in society’s imagination, until it finally became a reality on January 20, 2009.
Ten years later, Julián Castro became the first Latino candidate to run in the Democratic primary, amid a convulsed political climate and fueled by the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Trump Administration.
Despite the short life of Castro’s campaign, the image of having a Latino president in the White House has remained imprinted in the minds of many Americans.
And now, Disney has materialized it on television. Under the title Diary of a Future President, the network has released the first trailer of a television series in which the country’s leader is not only a woman but also a Hispanic.
Starring and produced by Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, the series tells the story of how the country’s leader returns to her teenage years and travels again the path that led her to the Oval Office.
The story is focused on Elenita, a junior-high Latina living in Miami and played by Tess Romero.
“I hope young girls feel represented by this show and what it means as much to them as it does to me,” Romero told Entertainment Weekly. “It is extremely important that young girls are able to watch female characters who look like them, are successful, and grow up to help others, just like Elena. Representation is crucial, not just on television but in all media. I hope that Elena can inspire young girls and show them they can achieve their dreams.”
Let’s just hope that dream doesn’t take 60 years to become a reality.