Rosie Perez on Latino representation – or lack thereof – in Hollywood: ‘Just not enough’

Rosie Perez at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Jay L Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

As a Latina with a critically acclaimed acting career spanning more than three decades, Rosie Perez knows she’s in rare company.

And for them, that’s the problem.

“Some of us pulled through, and I’m very grateful for that,” she said in one diversity Profile published on Wednesday. “But it’s just not enough.”

Nominated for an Emmy in 2021 for her performance as Megan Briscoe in the HBO Max Series “Air StewardessPerez said the stories Latinos get to tell in Hollywood are often stifled by “some manager who doesn’t know anything about who we are as a people.”

“And then they’re like, ‘Can you spice it up a bit?'” she added. “You want to punch these people in the face. And then if it’s too real they say, ‘Could you retract it because we don’t want the audience to feel offended.’ And people get sick of it.”

Perez’s career began after she starred in Spike Lee’s influential 1989 film,do the right thing.” She made another memorable appearance in 1992’s “White men can’t jump‘ alongside Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson.

The Variety article touched on Perez’s Departure from ABC’s “The View” after a brief stint on the show in 2015, which some questioned as racist. A report since she left suggested that one of the reasons for her departure was her alleged trouble reading the teleprompter, a detail that has been harshly criticized by Latina leaders.

“Questioning a woman’s intelligence is an old stereotype that’s sexist and, in this case, racist,” said dozens of Latina executives “from a variety of professions.” in a joint letter urged ABC to apologize. “If you denigrate the only Latina on ‘The view‘ They denigrate all Latinas.”

Perez, who received an Emmy nomination for her role as co-host on the daytime talk show, didn’t request an apology amid the controversy. In profile, she declined to comment.

Perez further praised the success of “Everything everywhere at once,” an Asian-dominated sci-fi comedy that won seven Academy Awardsincluding Best Picture and three out of four Best Actor awards.

“I think that’s why ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ was such a big winner,” she said, referring to the different roles and stories that speak to one’s culture. Perez was recognized in 1993 for her performance in the film “Fearless.”

And although she was happy Brendan Fraser won the best male acting award, which she would have supported a win for colin farrell, who was nominated for the irish film “The Banshees by Inisherin.”

Why? Because “he did something specific to his culture… How many other films has he done that were specific to his culture?”

“It’s what we demand as Latinos,” she continued. “We want to do things that are specific to our culture, to our history.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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