I’m changing the Netflix & Chill tagline to Netflix & Thrill because that is how I’m feeling over the news that actress Dascha Polanco will be hosting a podcast/TV series on the streaming network.
Yesterday, Netflix announced that Polanco is the host of Brown Love, a six-episode podcast “celebrating the multi-faceted U.S. Latinx experience.” The first episode airs this week on Feb. 25 and will feature Polanco’s Orange Is the New Black co-star, Selenis Leyva, and Julissa Calderón of Netflix’s new series Gentefied. The episode will focus on their “experiences as Afro-Latinas in Hollywood, confronting biases in their communities and the many ways to be Latinx,” Netflix stated in a press release.
The show’s concept centers on “Latinxs in Hollywood who are making space for communities to see themselves, tackling topics like machismo, self-care, comedy, and the first-generation experience.” Upcoming guests include actors Diane Guerrero and Oscar Nunez, among many others.
“When I was leading the conversations and getting to know these other fellow Latinx, their perceptions and opinions was so amazing to me — to see the color and the richness of our story,” Polanco said in an interview with Vulture. “There’s such a huge necessity for us to be behind the scenes and to write our own stuff. In the United States, there’s only been one [representation] of Latinx, and it’s been the Mexican community. It’s important to discuss this because even though times are changing now, and there’s a push for diversity, there’s still a lot of work to do.”
One of the reservations Polanco had about doing this show was whether or not the conversations on the podcast would be able to be real enough, because if the talk got too deep, her guests could face repercussions about voicing their opinions.
“At what point do we start taking control of our story and actually speaking up because sometimes speaking up leaves you blacklisted or not finding work?” she told Vulture. “It’s risky to work in fear, to speak in fear. For me, hosting is about being a good listener and learning. I’m not out here claiming what’s right. For our community and for Hollywood, I’m just claiming what needs to be seen because this is the face of the United States right now.”
Polanco is completely correct. Our community must be heard because we have been closed out of that conversation for far too long. Thankfully we are starting to have more outlets that will elevate our voices to new audiences.
Click here to hear more about Brown Love.