Latine Led Movies and Shows to Support Amidst the Actors and Writers Strike

Latine Led Movies and Shows to Support Amidst the Actors and Writers Strike

Latine representation in Hollywood has historically been limited, but this year seemed poised to mark a significant change. With movies such as "Blue Beetle" leading the charge, a wave of optimism swelled within the community. This film, directed, written by, and starring Latinos, was highly anticipated to make a splash at the summer box office.

But now the film faces an unexpected challenge. Strikes by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have severely affected the promotion of upcoming films. With union members actively supporting the strike and deciding not to promote their projects, marketing efforts have been stifled. This means that, although “Blue Beetle,” scheduled to premiere on August 18, represents an important milestone for Latino representation, its cast is unable to promote it.

Despite these challenges, the community has rallied together.

In a tremendous show of unity, 27 prominent Latino organizations and media outlets, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, LA Collab, Latino Film Institute, and this media outlet Luz Media, collectively penned an open letter urging the community to "amplify the work that countless Latino artists have worked so hard to create." The movement behind this cause is gaining momentum online with the hashtag #SupportLatinoCreatives.

Blue Beetle: More Than a Movie - A Cultural Triumph for Latinos

The "Blue Beetle" centers on Jaime Reyes, a Mexican-American teenager. A mysterious robotic scarab that attaches to his spine provides him with a powerful armored suit, but this seemingly miraculous gift comes with its challenges. Jaime soon finds out that the scarab has its own consciousness, sometimes controlling him rather than the other way around. It's a fresh story, an intersection of cultural identity and superhero genre, making it a much-anticipated watch.

Directed by Puerto Rican director Ángel Manuel Soto and written by Mexican screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, "Blue Beetle" stands as DC Studios' pioneering superhero film championing strong Latine representation both onscreen and behind the camera.

Xolo Maridueña graces the screen as the lead character, Jaime Reyes. His presence is complemented by Harvey Guillén, embracing the role of Dr. Sanchez, and reggaeton sensation Becky G lends her voice to the mystical Khaji-Da. George Lopez portrays Uncle Rudy Reyes; Elpidia Carrillo takes on Rocio Reyes; Raoul Max Trujillo embodies Carapax the Indestructible Man; Adriana Barraza portrays the caring Nana; Jorge Jimenez as Uncle Chema Reyes; Bruna Marquezine brings to life Jaime's love interest, Penny; Belissa Escobedo stars as Milagros Reyes; Damián Alcázar depicts Alberto Reyes, and the iconic Susan Sarandon introduces us to Victoria Kord. With such a stellar cast and crew, the anticipation for "Blue Beetle" is undeniably palpable and historic. blue beetle promotional movie poster

But the spotlight doesn't end with "Blue Beetle." A slew of movies and shows showcasing Latino talent are lined up:

"Cassandro," set to release on September 15, 2023, in theaters, “Cassandro” tells the real-life story of Saúl Armendáriz. Known as the "exótico" character, Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso, rises to international prominence. Gael García Bernal, Roberta Colindrez, and Raúl Castillo lead the cast.

"The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" reintroduces fans to the universe of Panem. Releasing in theatres on November 17, 2023, this prequel features Rachel Zegler and offers insights into the young Coriolanus Snow, future president of Panem.

"Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe.” Adapted from Benjamin Alire Sáenz's renowned 2012 novel, this coming-of-age romantic drama by Aitch Alberto delves into the lives of two Mexican-American teenagers in 1987's El Paso, Texas. Aristotle and Dante, played by Max Pelayo and Reese Gonzales, forge a profound bond, their connection spotlighted against a vivid Texan backdrop. The star-studded ensemble includes Verónica Falcón, Kevin Alejandro, Eva Longoria, and Eugenio Derbez. Having made its debut at the 47th International Toronto Film Festival in 2022, movie-goers eagerly await its theatrical release by Blue Fox Entertainment on September 8, 2023.

"Radical," premiering at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it clinched the "Festival Favorite" award, plunges into the challenging landscape of Jose Urbina Lopez Elementary in Matamoros. With students facing an oppressive environment laden with violence and dismally low academic achievements, the film presents Eugenio Derbez in the role of Sergio Juarez, a teacher desperate to change their fate.

This Fool” Season Two, debuting on August 18, 2023, on Hulu, this TV comedy is inspired by Chris Estrada's personal experiences. It humorously spotlights Julio Lopez, a 30-year-old navigating South Central Los Angeles, while seeking his own fulfillment. The anticipated second season sees Chris Estrada return as Julio, with notable co-stars like Frankie Quinones and Michelle Ortiz. With its relatable comedy and vibrant character dynamics, the show promises both laughter and reflective moments.

Despite the obstacles created by the strikes, the Latino community in Hollywood has demonstrated resilience and unity. With powerful stories waiting to be told and an audience eager to listen, there's no doubt that these films and shows will leave a lasting impact, both on the industry and viewers worldwide.

vibrant graphic design featuring two female wrestlers in action

Picture this: the grand arena hums with the electricity of expectation and the clamor of a thousand voices, all waiting for the spectacle of the age-old Mexican tradition of Lucha Libre, a wrestling style born in the heart of Mexico in the early 20th century.

The combatants aren’t mere wrestlers; they are luchadores, artists of acrobatics and theatricality, their faces hidden behind vibrant masks that carry stories older than the very sport they represent, stories rooted in the legacy of the ancient Aztecs.

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.

graphic design highlighting Dolores Huerta 94 birthday, the iconic civil rights activist and labor leader.

Today, Dolores Huerta, one of the most important Latino icons within civil rights, is turning 94 years old. This occasion is the perfect opportunity to celebrate not only her robust life but also her immense contributions as a social justice champion. Huerta is a living legend whose tireless efforts have helped transform the landscape of civil rights, feminism, labor rights, farmworkers’ rights, and even environmental justice.

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