What the #FiercelyLatina Get-Together Got Right About Hollywood—And What Still Needs to Change

Over the weekend, a bunch of badass Latinas in Hollywood got together to talk about supporting each other. The get-together has been making waves across social media since then, thanks to Gina Rodriguez sharing on her Instagram account the photo of all of the ladies with the hashtag #LatinaPower. It might be one of the most powerful messages that Latinas can send to Hollywood: We’re here, we support each other and we deserve representation.

Other than Gina Rodriguez, the photo includes Jaina Lee Ortiz, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Eva Longoria, Eiza Gonzalez, Ivonne Coll, Yara Martinez, America Ferrera, Justina Machado, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Andrea Navedo, Melissa Fumero, Isabella Gomez, Stephanie Beatriz, and Rosario Dawson. And we say: HOORAY!

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz explained that the brunch was organized by Gina Rodriguez and America Ferrera and went on to explain what happened that day:

“I met some amazingly smart and funny women that day, and as we all talked, we collectively agreed that there’s so much power in supporting each other. Representation matters. All of us want to see all kinds of Latinas in more leading roles in television and film, as well as producing and directing. I think it might’ve been Rosario who suggested the hashtag “fiercely Latina”, and all of us loved it. I hope that other women who identify as Latina can rally around #fiercelyLatina as a way to describe themselves: a celebration of the rich span of cultures and colors that being a Latina can look like, and as a call to shine like the fierce, bright lights that they are.”

Although we love the message and are thrilled to see so many Latinas in one room, vowing to support one another, there seems to be one thing missing: Representation of Afro-Latinas.

Being Afro-Latina in the U.S. is difficult enough without being excluded from a group of fellow Hollywood Latinas that were meant to showcase diversity. Critics on Twitter pointed out that the group looked, ahem, fairly light-skinned. Were La La Anthony, Christina Milian, Rosie Perez, Dascha Polanco, Dania Ramirez (the newest Disney princess!), Judy Reyes, Naya Rivera, Zoe Sandaña, Lauren Velez or any other Afro-Latinas in Hollywood simply not available, or were they not invited to the table? That is the question that some are voicing today.

Although we love these ladies for their uplifting message and hope to see more #FiercelyLatina brunches in the future, we also hope that the next get-together of powerful Latinas in Hollywood (especially those that want to support each other and others in their culture) will include Latinas of all colors.

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