Creating Opportunities for Latinos in Hollywood: Rick Najera Directs CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase
LOS ANGELES, CA – Developing Latino and diverse talent in Hollywood is something Rick Najera has carefully crafted for the past two decades. This January 19th through 23rd, Najera will once again spotlight diversity and emerging talent through the annual CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, the leading network showcase in the industry that he has directed since its inception in 2005. Under his tutelage, more than 65 actors from the showcase have been cast as series regulars or leads in popular television shows including Saturday Night Live (SNL) and The Daily Show and hundreds have gone on to successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Recognized by many as the industry leader in actor showcases designed to highlight diverse talent, the Showcase is attended by senior level CBS Entertainment executives, showrunners and casting directors from the network’s daytime and primetime programs as well as casting directors from other networks and high level talent agents.
Recently, with so much talk about Latinos (specifically Mexicans) in this country sparking debate, Najera, who has been recognized as one of the “Most Influential Latinos in America” (Hispanic Business Magazine), has taken it upon himself to speak out about the importance of Latino images in the media, “This election year, Latinos and people of color will decide if we want an inclusive and accepting America, or a land of corporate prisons and borders,” says Najera, “Our image and how we are seen in the media will be key… Although Latinos did well during the recent Golden Globes, we still have a long way to go. We need it not to be news and unusual when we win a few awards, it needs to be the norm.”
Rick Najera is an award-winning author of four books and dives deep into the images of Latinos portrayed on television and in film in his latest memoir, Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. Najera also writes for Hulu’s original series, East Los High and produces and hosts Latino Thought Makers live series.
The CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase will take place at the El Portal Theatre located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601.