According to a study conducted by Columbia University in 2014, Latinos were better represented in the mainstream media in the 50s than they are today. The report cited a “narrower range of stories and roles” – something that Shayla Rivera, one of the three stars of HBO Latino’s Entre Nos: Part 2, reiterated on the red carpet before the premiere.
The second installation of the purely Latino-comic special, and the first original comedic content aired by HBO Latino, revolves around three distinctly different yet equally successful comedians. In watching the premiere, I found, surprisingly, that though my roots are Latina, I did not have to relate to the comedians’ nationalities to understand and relate to the humor. Much of the sketches were spoken in English with some “Spanglish,” yet I found that the non-Spanish speakers were left all but confused.
The special really did illuminate the gaping void in Hollywood and in comedy. Latinos in media are almost always the sassy, spunky, comic relief – but Entre Nos depicted them as also nerdy, goofy, and most of all, intelligent. This is a realm that is starkly misrepresented and extremely difficult to ignore; when asked to name Hollywood’s big name Latinos/as, most people are not so quick to answer.
Entre Nos: Part 2 is a spontaneous and hilarious addition to this Hispanic Heritage Month, and more importantly, to the continued efforts of diversification in Hollywood. Shayla Rivera, Vladimir Caamaño, and Frankie Quiñones, are no doubt Latinos, no doubt native Spanish speakers, but moreover, they are comedians just like Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman. And they deserve the same recognition. There is an overwhelmingly large fount of Latino talent that is just waiting to be discovered, and HBO Latino achieved what I’m sure will be the first of many successes for the Latino community.