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LatinXcellence: Alan Luna hopes his eye for talent changes the face of Hollywood

June 11, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 25.9%. 2 min read.

Santa Monica, CA - June 3, 2021: Alan Luna, a bilingual Casting Director for tv, film and animation, photographed in front of a mural onOcean Park Blvd in Santa Monica for CNN Latinx Ambition portfolio. CREDIT: Damon Casarez for CNN.

Alan Luna makes his living putting people on the big and small screens, but growing up, he never saw someone who looked like his mother -- a woman of indigenous Mexican descent who is one of the most beautiful and giving people he knows, her son says -- on either.

(CNN)Alan Luna makes his living putting people on the big and small screens, but growing up, he never saw someone who looked like his mother -- a woman of indigenous Mexican descent who is one of the most beautiful and giving people he knows, her son says -- on either.

As a casting director, people like him have the power to change that and open up doors previously closed to Latinx talent.

Opportunities to be a lead character in a television series do not come often for Latinx actors and to see one slipping through the cracks was "tough to witness," Luna said.

"Being able to see that in the first year of my career immediately made me feel like, 'Holy crap, me -- this Latino first-generation kid from LA -- can really make a difference in our industry. "

"When you look at the numbers in our representation on the screen, both in the US and in Latin America, most of the people that get leading roles are White-passing Latinos -- Latinos that are of European descent, not necessarily Latinx people that are Afro-Latinx or of indigenous descent.

Overused line that execs say when passing on a Latinx project: "America isn't really ready for this type of show" or "This show is TOO Latino. " And on the casting side of things, it's very easy for a production to turn a character into a White character as opposed to turning a White character into a Black or Latinx or Asian character.

What I think all casting directors could do to help increase Latinx representation: 1) Hire assistants of color and pay them well so we create a pathway for them to become casting directors or executives one day -- which are two completely different things that create an impact in various ways.

by summa-bot

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