Gloria Calderon Kellett, Tanya Saracho, Steven Canals And Ilana Pena On Supporting Black Lives, Authentic Storytelling And False Progress In Hollywood – ATX

Even so, Canals hopes that Hollywood will recognize the value of shows like Pose, Vida, One Day at a Time and Diary of a Future President and how they put an authentic spotlight on the Latinx community.
"Inaction doesn't seem like the answer," she said. Saracho talked about how the climate has weighed heavy on her heart, and how she couldn't put into words how she felt.
"For all of us, the work is wholly personal, and comes from a place of seeing our humanity as people and reminding the world that we are so much more alike than different," adding that we are different, but we should celebrate those differences. In terms of putting their emotions about the current landscape into their work and bringing authentic storytelling to it, Canals cites Toni Morrison saying that now is the time to pour their fear and hurt into their work.
"The last four years has emboldened a certain amount of racism, as well as homophobia, sexism and misogyny." He adds we need to amplify voices on the front lines and band together. "This is a systemic issue that has been going on for quite a long time," he said. "It's not enough just to say, 'I support the work other people are doing…we need to come together and say that this needs to stop."
Saracho points out that they have to "Latinx-cellent" with less resources, and they will get it done. There is progress, but there are lower budgets for projects from Latinx voices. But it sucks that the "obstacles are doubled."
The pre-recorded panel came before the series finale of Saracho's Vida and on the eve of the Pan Pacific Park/Fairfax protest. The ramifications and resistance as a result of George Floyd's death were very much present.
For Canals, he had to jump over so many hurdles before Pose made it to FX. People said the show was too queer, Black, and just too risky. "The subtext to that is: 'We are having a hard time believing a person like you got to where you are,' and that's the industry we operate in." "Even then, I was having to prove my worth," he said. The show has since become a success, but even after season one, his credit as a show creator and producer wasn't enough.
Pena said that the social media posts and donations may feel hollow, but it is something. "A lot of them feel like they have been shouting this into a void and the country has not been listening," she said. More importantly, we need to listen to the Black community and what they have to say. "They are the voices we need to hear and they are being silenced."
Kellett talks about being seen on TV and how growing up, she didn't see typical TV tropes apply to the Latinx community. "I hope that is not the way people have to go through any more," she said. She felt invisible, and now, she makes TV for her 14-year-old self.
During ATX Television Festival's virtual edition, trailblazing Latinx TV creators Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time), Tanya Saracho (Vida), Steven Canals (Pose) And Ilana Pena (A Diary of a Future President) discussed a breadth of issues that revolved around the topic of celebrating authentic storytelling.
He thinks about his cousins and uncles who are those Black men that can be affected by this and be targeted. Having a family that is Puerto Rican and Black, Canals said that the issue is very personal to him.
Eventually, they would go to her directly, but they needed Lear's permission — which is a problem, obviously. However, Kellett is grateful for Lear amplifying her voice. Kellett talked about her own journey with co-showrunning One Day at a Time, and how, at the beginning, people would go to Norman Lear for advice about the show and he would tell them to talk to her.
When it comes to progress, there's a vibe that Hollywood is moving forward, but at times it feels like a false progress — especially with Latinx shows. Pena points out that the dominant culture needs to see shows from Latinx creators succeed in order to take chances. She was grateful that she was able to refer to Saracho, Kellett, and Canals' shows in order to move that needle with her work. Vida has been canceled, and the Party of Five reboot was as well. Kellett said that we needed more than just three seasons of Vida, and we need more of Pose and shows of the like.
Kellett added to the sentiment, saying that although tweets and donations are important, they tend to feel hollow considering the magnitude of the current circumstances. "How do we, in these times when we have to stay at home — how do we get the message out? How do we band together and let the Black community know that we see them and we are going to raise our voices when we see someone speaking out against them?"
"Gatekeepers are understanding the 'no-story-without-them' notion," said Saracho. "We've been told our narrative for decades. The dominant [culture] has been telling us who we are and we are consuming it and it becomes this artificial poison because we believe it."
"I have sat in so much gratitude that I am sick of saying 'Thank you'," Kellett admits when it comes to her career. "I'm ready to say 'You're welcome' because what we have is valuable — and we have said 'Thank you' a lot."” />
She tries to give that vibe in her writers' room, and gives the opportunity for everyone to use their voices to the fullest potential. "They wanted my voice in the room," she said. Pena's experience in the writers' room for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend speaks to progress, as they had an inclusive room that helped amplified her voice.

New Hollywood Podcast: Tanya Saracho Talks New Season Of ‘Vida’ And Need For More Nuanced Latinx Storytelling

Listen to the episode below.” />
After paying her dues, she kicked down the door and put Vida on the map, a very Latinx show that doesn't use culture as a novelty — she also plans to carry this mind-set into Brujas, which is currently in development. Saracho's experience stems from the theater, which paved the way for her to cut her teeth in writers rooms.
Since debuting last year, the Starz series Vida has garnered critical acclaim but also has served up a different type of Latinx narrative on TV. Vida, which recently premiered its second season, folds in relevant LGBTQ storylines, familial issues, cultural nuance and the impact of gentrification to create a layered dramedy — and this is largely thanks to the show's creator Tanya Saracho. The series takes place in East Los Angeles, but it isn't a typical Latinx story of cholos and gangs that Hollywood tends to love.
Along with her sister from another mister (and friend of the New Hollywood Podcast) Gloria Calderon Kellett, Saracho has called attention to the lack of Latinx-fronted narratives in TV and film that aren't cholo- and cartel-driven. She stopped by the New Hollywood Podcast to talk about Latinx representation, the new season of Vida, her eyebrow-raising experiences as a "diverse hire" and her obsession with Anglo-centric dramas. Saracho has become one of the touchstone voices for Latinx representation.

‘Vida’ Vows To Humanize Story Of Donald Trump’s Remaining Snatched Border Kids – TCA

A court-ordered deadline for their reunification came and went last Thursday; 711 children remain in government shelters, according to the government tally. Parents of 431 of the children have been deported, the Washington Post reported. Actually, the number of children snatched from families was revealed by the administration to be about 2,551. That's because the Trump administration says their parents have criminal records, their cases remain under review, or the parents no longer are in this country.
"Now I think it's about humanizing. We're still in process." We need to figure out a good campaign to humanize." Asked if the show's Season 2 will deal with the children still not reunited with their family in defiance of a court order, Saracho said, "We're still breaking [Season 2], so maybe.
Asked what's the next step, Saracho today told reporters at TCA, "Obviously, all these other shows signed on" to the campaign, putting the tally at 89 shows, including Starz' hit Power.
Last month, Vida – Starz's half-hour drama series focusing on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who return to their old neighborhood – teamed with One Day at a Time to draw attention to the horror, and to wrangle Hollywood money to the effort to end it.
Vida executive producer Tanya Saracho vowed to continue putting a spotlight on the plight of immigrant children taken from their families by the Trump administration.
"We have to figure out how we can help," noting, "Things are more complicated. "That is going to continue," she said this morning at TCA.
Back when her campaign started, Saracho posted to her Instagram account: "In just 6 weeks, upon being detained at the border, 1,995 children have been separated from their families, and now a tent city has cropped up in Texas built to detain immigrant children. We have to do something.”
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