*Puerto Rican-American actress Rosie Perez is speaking out about racism in Hollywood, and how “dangerous” it is for Afro-Latinos to separate themselves within the Latin community.
“I think it’s very dangerous—the separation of color within the Latin community,” Perez told ESSENCE last Saturday while receiving Hispanicize’s Latinavator Award at The InterContinental in Los Angeles.
“People who are dark skin have to pronounce themselves as Afro-Latinos. The Latinos that are not dark-skinned don’t call themselves White Latinos or Caucasian Latinos. I know that might sound controversial, [but] I think it’s important that we unify,” she said.
“There is a disparity in regards to seeing brown, dark brown and Black-skinned colored Latinas, Latinos, LatinX—whatever—it hasn’t changed that much,” Rosie added.
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“What’s fantastic to me,” said Perez, “is that the new Latinx generation they do not care [about these labels]. And they are voicing their opinions and I think that’s fantastic.”
Perez then referenced the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California, which noted that only 3% of Latinos in Hollywood land leading roles.
“They had said that only 3% of Latinos in Hollywood get the lead roles and they left out Zoe Saldana,” stated Perez. “That was such an important misstep on their part and you ask yourself why? Whether it was conscious or subconscious it was an omission that spoke volumes. They don’t include us as part of the conversation as winning and that’s an issue. I think as a community we need to look within ourselves and fix that problem before we start pointing fingers at everyone else.”
What do you think of Rosie’s comments about Latin culture? Sound off in the comments.
Perez will next be seen in “The Last Thing He Wanted,” for Netflix and “Birds of Prey,” opposite Margot Robbie. She’ll also star in HBO Max’s thriller drama series “The Flight Attendant.”