Hispanic actresses America Ferrera and Eva Longoria recently open up to the New York Times about their experience with discrimination while auditioning for movie roles in Hollywood and their personal stories of not feeling seen, heard or accepted for their original roots and culture during their professional careers.
"I was 18 and putting myself on tape for a movie I really wanted. I got that phone call: They cast a Latino male in another role in the film; they’re not looking to cast [a Latina]. So I defiantly bleached my hair blond, painted my face white and made the audition tape. I never heard back, " Ferrera, shared in the latest installment about diversity in Hollywood."I just remember feeling so powerless. What do you do when someone says, “Your color skin is not what we’re looking for”? Let me tell you: Blond does not suit me. I try not to prove my point on audition tapes anymore."
"I didn’t speak Spanish [growing up]. I’m ninth generation. I mean, I’m as American as apple pie. I’m very proud of my heritage. But I remember moving to L.A. and auditioning and not being Latin enough for certain roles. Some white male casting director was dictating what it meant to be Latin. He decided I needed an accent." Longoria continued, "He decided I should [have] darker-colored skin. The gatekeepers are not usually people of color, so they don’t understand you should be looking for way more colors of the rainbow within that one ethnicity."