As Netflix’s original series “Orange is the New Black,” enters into its 3rd season, one thing is clear; it is hugely popular. If illegal downloading is an indicator on popularity, then data says that this TV show is a hit. It is so popular that it has become the “second-most pirated TV show in the world on a daily basis after HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’.”
One of the reasons many people have fallen in love with this comedy-drama is because of the fresh storyline and the diversity of the characters. There is not one “type” of Black woman or Latina woman; there are many different representations.
During a video interview with BET Network this summer, the reporter asked Selenis Leyva, who plays Gloria Mendoza in “Orange is the New Black,” about her experience being Latina in Hollywood and she broke it down about being an Afro-Latina. Check out the exchange below!
BET Interviewer (Clay Cane): At BET we talk about the struggles of being a Black actress. Being a Latina actress, do you see similarities with your Black sisters as far as getting roles, (specifically) getting roles that are outside of being “hood”?
Selenis Leyva: Sure. I’m an Afro-Latina at that. So, you know it’s like (a) double-whammy as far as Hollywood is concerned. I think it’s worst, if I have to be very frank and honest– as far as Hollywood and the roles and the opportunities that are offered to us.
There’s been way too many times that I’ve turned on something on television or gone to the movies and a role that was originated for a Latina is not played by a Latina. But they keep the name as Latina and they want to pass her as a Latina. And I’m just like, there are so many of us, why can’t you just give us the role?
That’s why I applaud Jenji Kohan, Netflix and Lions Gate for “Orange is the New Black” and for casting more than one Latina and (for) casting Latinas that look different. You know we’re Dominican, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Columbian. I mean it’s like this beautiful array of Latina women.
We come in many colors. It’s a beautiful thing!
What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave a comment or tweet us @BoriquaChicks!
In case you missed our other post on Afro-Latinos in Hollywood, click the link below.
Source: This post is an edited transcript. Watch the entire interview here.
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