There are also some glimmers of hope in a year of bad news, and for aspiring Latinx content creators, there is a hefty dose of good news.
Mexican producer, actress, and activist Olga Segura is working to ensure that emerging Latinx talent has the support and recognition it deserves through her new Latina Talent Incubator.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the initiative, launched in partnership with Exile Content, is determined to help develop and provide creative opportunities for emerging Latinx talent in front of and behind the camera.
“EXILE has a core commitment to diversity, underrepresented communities, and untold stories,” its website reads. “We are launching a Latina Talent Incubator — a program created to discover and develop emerging female and gender non-conforming Latinx content creators.”
It’s no secret that the Latinx community is heavily underrepresented in Hollywood. According to a 2019 report by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, titled “Latinos in Film: Erasure on Screen & Behind the Camera Across 1,200 Popular Movies,” of the 4% of films with a Latin American or U.S. Latino director between 2007 and 2018, only one was helmed by a woman.
In addition, that same study found that “only 5% of the speaking roles in last year’s top 100 movies went to Latino actors even though that demographic group represents 18% of the US population.”
There is a blatant lack of understanding of what it means to be Latinx and where Latinx talent fit into the Hollywood creative scene. This has led to an omission of U.S.-born-and-raised Latinos, both on-screen and behind the camera.
Segura and the Exile team are on a mission to change all that.
“I’m excited to join the Exile family and am looking forward to building tangible opportunities for female Latinx talent and content creators to find a place to share our stories and change the narrative of how we Latinxs are perceived, not only in the U.S. but all around the world,” Segura said.
Exile Content co-founder Julia Saenz echoed the same sentiments. “We are tremendously proud to partner with Olga on the Latina Talent Incubator. I have always admired Olga as an activist in our industry and a determined voice pushing all of us to have important conversations about Latino issues, whether in entertainment, policy, representation, or beyond… This new program will result in the discovery of great talent and bring to Exile ideas, perspectives and opportunities to tell new and innovative stories while demonstrating our commitment to emerging Latinx female creators.”
In addition to the Latina Talent Incubator, Segura has also signed a first-look production deal with the studio, intending to create global content about underrepresented communities in both Spanish and English.
Considering just how underrepresented the Latinx population is in the entertainment industry and beyond, this comes as excellent news for budding talent and future generations of Latinx creators.