La estudiante de Periodismo de la Universidad Montaclair, Kelsey Rojas, recibio el miércoles 6 de mayo, la “Beca Jose Rohaidy” establecida por el Capítulo de Nueva Jersey de la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos (NAHJ) que preside Manuel Avendaño, periodista de El Diario de Nueva York.
Rojas, residente de Morris Plains, Nueva Jersey, es nieta de ecuatorianos. “Mi madre es primera generación en Estados Unidos. Mis abuelos son de Quito, Ecuador, y actualmente viven en Sangolqui”, dijo la joven estudiante.
Rojas resultó ganadora de la beca, luego de presentar dos columnas en sus clases de Montclair con el profesor Harvey Araton.
Una de las columnas (“Representation Matters”) se refiere a la importancia de la representación de los latinos en la televisión en inglés.
La “Beca José Rohaidy” ha sido establecida en homenaje al periodista cubano José Rohaidy, uno de los pioneros del periodismo hispano de Nueva Jersey y Nueva York, quien laboró por varias décadas en El Diario/LaPrensa y Radio WADO.
“Mi familia y yo en particular queremos agradecer por haber escogido el nombre de mi esposo José Rohaidy (QEPD) para ofrecer una beca en su nombre a una estudiante de la Universidad Montclair en el mes de mayo”, dijo Magali Rohaidy, viuda del periodista.
“Mi esposo José, como periodista, siempre le gustaba escribir sobre ‘Lo Mejor De Los Nuestros’, en sus artículos, entre ellos escogí precisamente uno que destacaba -quizás en 1970 ó 1972- la labor callada de la Dra. Carmen Marina, directora del programa B2 que junto al presidente Dr. Richardson, el profesor Guilarte, el Dr. King y Diego Castellanos lograron así la primera graduación de maestros cubanos y de otras nacionalidades”, agregó Magali Rohaidy.
Columna de Kelsey Rojas
By Kelsey Rojas
MORRIS PLAINS- Tearing up while watching actors accept their accolades is not something I had planned, yet seeing Gina Rodriguez accept the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series for Jane the Virgin caused my vision to become a bit blurred.
The reason it stuck a chord with me was that here was this young Latina woman, accepting an award for her achievement in acting in a lead female role within a television series that depicts a Latin family in a non-stereotypical way.
“This award is so much more than myself-” Rodriguez said during her acceptance speech at the Globes, “it represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes.”
With all of the recent criticisms surrounding this current awards season, including the all-white Oscar nominations list, it was nice to see a Latina win in a major category. But the main concern should be why a Hispanic lead actor within the media is so rare? Gina Rodriguez is only one of two Latina women to win in this category; the other being America Ferrera for her role in Ugly Betty in eight years ago in 2007.
Latin women, and men as well, have been known to be easily stereotyped within mainstream media. Though not as extreme as the African-American stereotype, Hispanics are pooled in with the more low-brow of representations, be it criminals or
In 2013, the MPAA found that even though Hispanics make up only 17% of the national population, they make up 32% of moviegoers. “Hispanics are more likely than any other ethnic group to go to movie,” the MPAA states.
Being the leading ethnic group in moviegoers, you would think that Hispanics would be well represented in media. But with lower exposure along with smaller acting pools for the Latin population than the Caucasian counterpart, it is hardly the case. It has only been within the past 4 years that there has been even a slight expansion in the representation of Latin people in mainstream media. With Jane the Virgin on the CW and Cristela on CBS, the main networks are catching on that there is more than Sofia Vergara’s bombshell character on Modern Family.
This noticeable expansion to Latin portrayals on the small and big screen even has lead Vulture to declare “the future of movies will be more Latino.”
Yet that future might be jeopardized by the fact that there is just as little Hispanic representation behind the camera as well. A Columbia University study found that from 2010-2013, less than 5% of Latinos can be found as directors, producers and writers in both TV and film platforms.
Increasing the Latino presence behind the camera, particularly writers would cause more Latino-centric stories to be told leading to more demand for a cast who could fulfill those roles. According to a six-year USC study, that the more diversity behind the lens the more diversity we are more likely to get in front of the screen. This applies not just to Latinos, but also to other ethnic groups such as Asians and African Americans.
Minimal representation is not the only problem but it is also how we are represented that is also the problem. When the only image you see of a Latino person is in an overtly sexual or threatening role, it is not surprising that you start to associate that to the ethnic group themselves.
Though Birdman’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez are getting their days in the sun, as they should; it is baffling that it is still a surprise to see these artists or other Hispanic artists get any major accolades. Hollywood is slowly coming around to the fact that all Hispanics aren’t all the same, yet without much recognition from academies and guilds there is still work to be done.