Eva Longoria, America Ferrera Reveal Shocking Ways Hollywood Discriminates Against Minorities
Both Eva Longoria and America Ferrera are outspoken when it comes to Hollywood's diversity and racism issues. In a recent interview, the two Latina actresses revealed the shocking ways that they faced discrimination in Hollywood.
Ferrera, 31, said that she even went as far as to make herself look like an American woman to snag a role.
"I was 18 and putting myself on tape for a movie I really wanted," the "Superstore" star recounted. "I got that phone call: They cast a Latino male in another role in the film; they're not looking to cast [a Latina]. So I defiantly bleached my hair blond, painted my face white and made the audition tape. I never heard back. I just remember feeling so powerless. What do you do when someone says, 'Your color skin is not what we're looking for'? Let me tell you: Blond does not suit me. I try not to prove my point on audition tapes anymore."
Longoria, the star, director and producer of NBC's "Telenovela," said that she was dictated by a white male casting director on how to be a Latina.
"I didn't speak Spanish [growing up]," Longoria, 40, said. "I'm ninth generation. I mean, I'm as American as apple pie. I'm very proud of my heritage. But I remember moving to L.A. and auditioning and not being Latin enough for certain roles. Some white male casting director was dictating what it meant to be Latin. He decided I needed an accent. He decided I should [have] darker-colored skin. The gatekeepers are not usually people of color, so they don't understand you should be looking for way more colors of the rainbow within that one ethnicity."
Hollywood's Diversity Problem
Reports compiled by the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that women, people of color and the LGBT community are underrepresented in Hollywood.
Studies released by the USC found that only 28.3 percent of all speaking characters across 414 films, television and digital episodes in 2014-15 are non-white.
According to USC's report, ten companies providing media content were analyzed based on how they represent women and people of color on screen and behind the camera. "None of the six film distributors got a passing grade on the Inclusion Index," which indicated places for improvement. So far, the Walt Disney Company and the CW Network have the strongest Inclusion Index score in television. For streaming content, Hulu and Amazon were equal.
The Washington Post, meanwhile, analyzed the make-up of film executives and found that of 450 movie execs, 96 percent were white and 87 percent were men.
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