by Remington Rodriguez
Often times Latinx stories never reach the big screen and when they do receive the spotlight, the roles are severely limited. Inspired by record-breaking hit Black Panther, Zoe Saldana is on a mission to help pave the way Latinx stories get told in media.
The Guardians of the Galaxy actress is launching a new media brand called BESE. The name comes from the verb “to be” in two languages — in English “be” and in Spanish “se” — meaning to exist and know yourself. Its mission will be to amplify the voice and untold stories of cultural pioneers reflecting and shaping the collective American experience.
“The mission of BESE is to reshape the cultural narrative by shining light on the untold story that reflects today’s America, that also means creating opportunities for content creators in the tech and digital world that haven’t necessarily been given the opportunity that they deserve.” To prove that this project will focus on getting those stories right Saldana says she hired a lot of Latinx video content creators. She adds, “we want to manifest our mission from the inside out.”
Latinos are a growing community in America, but Latino stories have remained historically marginalized,” said Saldana. “I’m so excited to be leading BESE, a truly uplifting brand that fills a niche for young audiences craving positive portrayals of the modern Latino experience in America.”
Latinos comprise an estimated 18 percent of the U.S. population. However, they represent only 4 percent of the newsroom workforce and less than 2 percent of news producers. Real-world stories around the Latino community constitute less than 1 percent of news media coverage, with the majority portraying Latinos in a negative light.
One of the main reasons the Star Trek actress wants to shine a light on the stories is because she understands that what’s reflected in the media has real-life consequences.
The 39-year-old actress says, “We have a series [on the platform] called Hidden Figuras and obviously it is a play on the title of Hidden Figures, that movie. We liked it so much and we’re so passionate about this show because we’re gonna be exploring the contributions and social impact that people of color have been having in our nation’s history.”
Saldana shares this passion project with her husband Marco Perego and of course their three children, twin sons Bowie and Cy, 3, and son Zen, 1.
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