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“I love that she’s unapologetically badass. There’s no back-story trying to explain something horrible that happened to her that explains who she is. No, that’s just who she is. She just is this person; no explanation needed. Just like men—when a male character comes on screen and is a badass, you just accept it. And I’m hoping that’s what fans do with Rosa. She is who she is and she just doesn’t give a shit.”- Stephanie Beatriz on her character, Rosa Diaz, in Brooklyn Nine-Nine

And then I saw that Melissa Fumero had been cast as Amy Santiago on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and I felt my guts roll up into my throat and try to escape out of my mouth. Omgomgomgomg that’s it then. There’s no way in hell a major network is gonna cast two Latina actresses in such a tight ensemble show I AM SCREWED.

And then next day my agents called and told me I’d booked it.

I couldn’t believe it. I had been saying to my boyfriend the night before how there was JUST NO WAY. Normally, The Latina is a singular element of the ensemble she is working in. She’s there to provide contrast, or sexuality, or humor. Or she’s there to clean the floors and/or steal your man. There are some serious stereotypes very much alive in film and TV today, and The Latina is one of them.

Here’s the thing though. The world is changing. Slowly but surely, television is changing. The character stereotypes are changing, or being turned inside out by some fantastic writers and actors (I’m looking at you, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and The Mindy Project). People of color are on TV playing roles that are fleshed out, complex, human. And yes, some of those characters are maids. Some are sexy heartbreakers there to steal your man. Some own BBQ joints, while some are Chiefs of Staff. Some are prisoners, and some are cops. All are real people with hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, and all the other vast human emotions and desires…

…This is important. Because young women are watching TV, and they are getting messages about who they are in the world, who the world will allow them to be. And in big important steps, television is showing a reflection back to those young women that YOU CAN BE WHATEVER THE HELL YOU DAMN WELL PLEASE, and that two Latinas on one show is NORMAL. I think that’s a win for everybody.

2

ladies who should be part of the mcu tbh get on this

laverne cox as she-hulk
stephanie beatriz as spider-woman
afshan azad
as ms. marvel
arden cho as hawkeye
gina rodriguez
as america chavez
gwendoline christie
as thor

(credit GettyImages for actor shots)

2

I got your back