By now everyone has seen Gina Rodriguez’s beautiful acceptance speech as she took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Comedy on Sunday for her work on the CW’s Jane the Virgin. 

Rodriguez lit up the Latino social media sphere when she hinted at Hollywood’s Latino inclusion problem.

"This award is so much more than myself," the Chicago native said. "It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes."

What is so wonderful about Rodriguez’s Golden Globe and Jane the Virgin’s win for Best New Comedy Series at the People’s Choice Awards is what they demonstrate to Hollywood: that audiences love multidimensional, stereotype-defying portrayals of Latinos in media.

- Alex Nogales

For the Latino community, this was a welcome recognition of the well-documented gaping hole of Latino representation in Hollywood, as millions of viewers watched.

Indeed, Latinos over-index at the box office and on television and digital media consumption, but are infamously absent or scantly represented in front and behind the camera.

Yet while Latinos around the country gave Rodriguez a standing ovation in their living rooms, the Golden Globe’s audience seemed confounded. Rodriguez’s aspiration for Latinos in Hollywood was met with awkward silence, until some progressive spectators (perhaps the folks at the Jane the Virgin table in the back of the room) initiated a muted applause.

Had Hollywood elites not realized that Latinos feel absent in Tinseltown? Or did they just not care?

Either way, Rodriguez’s win signals hope for changing times in Hollywood.

Her affable, loveable nature itself is sure to change hearts and minds about the desirability of Latino inclusion. 

The fact that a Latina won a Golden Globe for portraying a strong, bright young woman who aspires to be a teacher and a writer is something on which all of the television networks, film studios and especially the talent agencies should be taking notes. 

After all, Hollywood has learned this lesson before, when America Ferrera won a Golden Globe in 2007 for her portrayal of a driven and principled aspiring magazine editor on Ugly Betty.

What is so wonderful about Rodriguez’s Golden Globe and Jane the Virgin’s win for Best New Comedy Series at the People’s Choice Awards is what they demonstrate to Hollywood: that audiences love multidimensional, stereotype-defying portrayals of Latinos in media.

Now let’s keep them coming.

Alex Nogales is president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram