In a Tuesday morning podcast from NPR’s Latino USA, actor Justina Machado, who plays the lead role in the hit Netflix series One Day at a Time, was asked by Maria Hinojosa about some of the critique the sitcom gets for highlighting a Cuban American family in a Los Angeles neighborhood that has been historically more of a Mexican American neighborhood. (One of the show’s writers and producers Gloria Calderon Kellett is Cuban American.) Machado, who is Puerto Rican from Chicago, gave some insight that speaks to some of the challenges Latinos are still facing both in Hollywood and as a community. Here is what she said:
It’s unfortunate. It’s kind of silly just because we’re all so hungry. I mean, really it’s what it is. We all so want to be represented that I think that sometimes we might say things that kind of defeat what we’re going for. You know, instead of realizing that we are really… I know that we’re different. I know Latinos are different. I know we have different things. We say different… we have different, you know, customs sometimes, but for the most part, we have more similarities than we have differences. So a win for me is a win for you. If one Latino show is successful, it opens the door to more Latino shows. Because they’re [the networks] not trying to reinvent the wheel over here. They’re just trying to see what it is that works, what people respond to. And if we support each other, all it’s going to do is bring more and more work. African Americans have learned this. Our community has a long way to learn it. We’re not going to get a seat at the table until we unite amongst ourselves.
You can catch the entire interview below: