On the release day of Blue Beetle, Latinos demonstrate at Warner Bros.

More than 2,000 actors, writers and industry professionals joined the Latinx Writers Committee and the SAG-AFTRA National Latino Committee on Friday morning in a strike outside the Warner Bros. compound in Burbank.

The shoreline picket also drew about 400 protesters in New York City.

The event coincided with the Warner Bros. event. Release of DC’s first Latino superhero film, Blue Beetle. In the film, Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle, played by Xolo Maridueña, takes a job at a wealthy CEO’s mansion to help his family who are losing their home due to rising rents caused by gentrification. The film’s working-class themes resonated well with the actors working on the picket line.

“We’re not all celebrities,” said Constance Marie, who starred on the show George Lopez. “Most of our unit is just working people, working paycheck to paycheck, juggling multiple jobs.”

“I’m very concerned that the major studios would rather let these films come out and not let any of the cast talk about them than support us in a way that would make the films bigger,” she said. “The big studios just keep dragging us out, I don’t know, hoping they’ll just have more corporate greed, which isn’t good for a union, it’s not good for the economy, it’s not good for anyone.”

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, national executive director and chief negotiator for SAG-AFTRA, said he had asked Warner Bros. to delay the film’s release until after the strikes.

“Of course they didn’t choose to do that and I find that unfortunate, but we will lift up these cast members and really recognize them for their unity and solidarity,” Crabtree-Ireland said.

Representatives from Warner Bros. and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers did not respond to requests for comment.

WGA strike captain Danny Tolli said the date was “pure coincidence” but the importance of the day was not lost on some.

While guild rules prohibit the WGA from promoting content, Piña said, “In spirit, we as creatives are definitely here to promote, support and celebrate ‘Blue Beetle’ for being the first superhero Latino film , which was not only created by The actors and actors are all Latinos, but the cast is all Latinos. That’s why we want the film to be well received. We want to make sure people are aware of that.”

Earlier this month, dozens of Latino Hollywood organizations signed an open letter urging the community to “amplify the work that countless Latino artists have worked so hard to create.”

Despite the support, the film is on track to gross underperforming in its opening weekend and hit the $25 million mark.

Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, who wrote Blue Beetle, was on the picket line. Blue Beetle is also the first superhero film directed and written by Latinos.

The turnout was a ray of hope for many of the actors in attendance, including Misha Gonz-Cirkl, who plays Teresa Mendez in Apple TV+’s “Swagger.”

“You feel like you’re alone out here. You really do,” said Gonz-Cirkl in a broken voice. “And to see so many Latinos from Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean coming here and being so proud … it makes your heart grow a little bit knowing you’re not alone.”

It’s day 109 of the WGA strike and day 36 of the SAG-AFTRA strike, but thousands of Latin American writers and actors said Friday their determination to negotiate a fair deal with Hollywood studios has not waned.

“The energy is stronger than ever,” Rivera said.

The picket event, which Rivera and Latinx Writers Committee Chair Christina Piña began planning shortly after the SAG strike, included Latino vendors, a flash mob led by Latinas Acting Up, and speeches by organizers and special guests — including Edward James Olmos , the first Mexican-American actor to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

“Be prepared for the long run,” Olmos told the crowd. “Don’t think this will be done by the end of this month. God it would be awesome, please prove me wrong,” he said, gesturing toward the sky.

“We’re staying here until we win.”

Latinos, who make up 19% of the US population, bought 29% of movie tickets sold in 2020, according to a 2021 Motion Picture Association Rreport. Another one USC film study was released on Thursday shows that only 5.2% of the speaking characters in the top 100 films of 2022 were of Hispanic or Latino descent.

“Latinos love going to the movies. It’s part of our culture, how we grew up,” said Frank Aragon, who has been a SAG member since 1989. “And it’s so unfair that we see the most minimalist crowd of us on screen.”

With studios already cutting back on content, Piña fears the diversity gains of the past decade will be reversed.

“What we want to do here today is to remind studios that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we are not helping our community, as well as any other diverse community, whether Asian-American, by reducing content Take chances.” or Black, or Native American, or disabled, or LGBTQ,” Piña said.

“We want these opportunities because we know that audiences will gravitate towards this content – we’ve proven that time and time again,” she added. “Why do we still have to prove it?”

“We’re not going anywhere,” Rivera told the crowd. “Latinos know how to unionize, how to fight and how to win. We will win.”

“Si, se puede,” they called back.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing emma@ustimespost.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button