George Lopez and Selenis Leyva Talk About Their Optimism on Latino Representation During the Golden Globes Awards

George Lopez and Selenis Leyva Talk About Their Optimism on Latino Representation During the Golden Globes Awards
By jdeeringdavis/ Flickr: Golden Globes

For decades, the struggle for Latino representation in Hollywood has been an uphill battle, an echo of a narrative consistently sidelined. With a staggering 19 percent of the United States population being Latino, the silver screen often fails to reflect this diversity. The latest study from USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative highlights this disparity, revealing that a mere 5.5 percent of speaking characters in movies are Hispanic or Latino. However, at the 2024 Golden Globes Awards, two prominent Latino figures, George Lopez and Selenis Leyva, shared their optimism about a gradual but significant shift in the landscape. 

“You know, 20 years ago, when I first started my first show, it was really tough to see somebody out there and there was not as much representation as there was maybe 10 years ago or even now. ” George Lopez told Billboard. 

“I think it’s happening little by little,” he continued. 

Amidst the glitz and glamour of the Golden Globes, Leyva also reflected on the progress made by Hollywood.  

“We’re here and we’re making wonderful movies like The Blue Beetle and Lopez versus Lopez on NBC. We’re doing it. We’re doing it,” Selenis Leyva said. 

Her enthusiasm and pride in the work being produced indicate a sense of accomplishment in contributing to the much-needed representation. 

Aside from that, Lopez shed light on the relatability that Latinos often find in unexpected places, even in the globally acclaimed series “The Crown.”  

“You know, I watched The Crown and, you know, only Latinos could look at the crown and go, ‘Hey, that’s like your Tia. She gets mad because everyone drinks too much.'” – George Lopez 

This further demonstrates the many facets of representation; although not explicit, certain scenarios can evoke familiarity and connection. These types of conversations will hopefully open up mainstream media’s eyes and have them understand how versatile Latinos can be. We are not just “the help.” Or characters can be complex and fully fleshed out to be digested by various audiences.  

During the conversation with Billboard, Leyva also expressed her admiration for Pedro Pascal, an actor who has notably captured the attention and support of the Latino community through his roles, emphasizing the importance of representation in shaping audience connections. 

“Anything that Pedro Pascal is in,” she said. 

The dialogue between these industry veterans highlighted the progress achieved and the work that remains. Let’s hope we continue to see more Latino representation soon. It’s about time.  

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