Gina Rodriguez from Jane the Virgin started Movement Mondays on her Instagram to garner support for working Latino actors. She points out that studios feel more confident in hiring Latino actors for high-profile roles if the numbers back it up. TV shows and movies with Latino actors need to pull in higher ratings and more revenue.
This approach is the same for all minorities and extends beyond the acting community—into all aspects of creative professions. Inspired by Gina, I am starting the series Monday Meetings to highlight Asian movers, shakers, and makers. We should be seeing them and hearing from them more often—not just sporadically.
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It shines a light on how invisible Asians were previously in the industry. The fact that one show makes a person excited! If you watch any show that stars white people, white people aren’t coming up to them like, ‘Thank you for showing my face on the big screen.’ Because they see their faces in popular culture all the time and many different iterations of their face, whether they’re the cool girl, the nerd, the hardworking girl, they get many things. We get one or two stories. So my biggest hope is that this gets the ball rolling in terms of different Asian American perspectives.
I’ve read the mean comments and criticism directed at her. But there is no progress when you stay quiet.
Fun fact: I was her body double in Parallels, but you can only see my wrinkly, scaly hands in the scene.
Top photo by Nicholas Hunt for Getty Images. Bottom photo by ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.”