Among all the Hispanic/Latino/a/x/e Heritage Month fanfare, one thing that caught my eye was a recent study out of Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative about how the film industry erases Latinxs from top to bottom. In front and behind the camera our numbers are dismal and not at all in line with our share of the population (or the quality and quantity of stories bursting out of us).
But how do we change that? There are amazing groups working on the problem but one area that’s too often overlooked is the role of journalists. If we don’t evaluate our own art and artists, someone else (white and male) is going to do it for us. So let’s take a minute and celebrate the Latina critics who are proving that we belong everywhere.
Angelica Jade Bastién
As the resident film critic at Vulture, Angelica Jade Bastién is pretty influential. She uses her position to speak truth to power, too often having to point out films that fail the (Black, femme) people they represent, while celebrating those that add something new.
Bethonie Butler is representing Latinidad on the pages of The Washington Post recommending your next Netflix obsession, interviewing Hollywood’s leading lights, and pointing out the importance of media like Futuro Media’s LOUD podcast. Through it all, she oversamples women and particularly women of color, chipping away at our poor representation numbers.
TV editor at the A.V. Club is a big role and Danette Chavez kills it, whether it’s reviews, interviews, or awards coverage. Just check out her piece rightfully predicting FX Pose’s Emmy win in the hairstyling category. Chavez celebrates the inspired specificity of the show’s costume, makeup, and hair work.
Toni Gonzalez is the Vice President and a founding member of the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association – meaning she’s doing the work to organize and uplift her fellow Latino critics. Plus, she’s great with a metaphor, as you’ll see in her review of Oscar Isaac’s The Card Counter.
Lizzie Lanuza Saenz
Lizzie Lanuza Sáenz is the co-founder of Fangirlish an independent publication covering and speaking out to fandoms far and wide. Always perceptive, she’s ready to defend her favorite shows (and their ships) while also calling out when they (or the fans) let her down.
Classic Hollywood enthusiast and disability ability rights advocate, Kristen Lopez has turned her passions into her day job as TV editor at IndieWire. There, she needles the entertainment industry (from festivals to board rooms) to be more inclusive while turning out insightful reviews and keeping us updated on the business of the showbusiness.
Rosa Parra and Catherine Gonzales
Together, Rosa Parra and Catherine Gonzalez host Latinx Lens, a podcast discussing Latinx contributions to film and TV. There are forty episodes and a year and a half in and you should listen in as they cover everything from kids’ movies to arty awards films.
Kate Sánchez is representing Latina geeks everywhere. She covers anime, gaming, sci-fi, and comics as the co-founder of the But Why Tho? podcast and community. With a background in religious studies and diversity and inclusion, Sánchez brings an approachable, humanist perspective to the genre.
The Founder of the culture website Cup of Soul, Kathia Woods focuses her journalism on TV and film by women, African-Americans, Blacks, and Latinxs. She’s interviewed everyone and constantly shouts out POC talent that deserves more attention.
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