A society’s nuance and heterogeneity add to its beauty, and American society exhibits both in abundance. It hosts immigrants from every corner of the world, who came here to fill their pots from the running stream of the “American Dream” and by doing so, contribute greatly to American society. In science and business, academia and industry, sports and entertainment, they lead the pack at every level.
However, these immigrants don’t often get due recognition even after giving their best for taking America to new heights of growth and greatness. For instance, artists from the Latino-American community only have negative stereotypes attached to them regardless of the value they have added to the Chicano cinema, social cinema, and Hollywood cinema.
In this article, we have spotlighted the lives and contributions of some well-known Spanish-speaking artists and Mexican film greats who have added color to American society in general and Hollywood in particular.
Salma Hayek was once an illegal immigrant, forced to live in the shadows of America before she could find success. The actress began her career making telenovelas and moved to Los Angeles around 1991. She studied acting while juggling both Hollywood’s Mexican-American culture with this new country life.
Salma’s career in Hollywood began with her involvement in Desperado, From Dusk till Dawn, and Wild Wild West projects. She also dedicated time helping raise awareness against violence towards women and discrimination against immigrants
The Colombia native Sofía became an international television star after co-hosting two Univisión shows in the late 1990s. Though best known for her work on Modern Family, she is one of the highest-paid TV actresses and earned fame worldwide
Sofia Vergara has been a household name since the premiere of her show “Modern Family,” first aired in 2009. In 2014 she became an official US citizen and ranked 32nd most powerful woman in World by Forbes, proving her influential status in American society.
Camila Cabello is a Cuban-American songwriter and singer who acquired fame by working as a Fifth Harmony member during X Factor USA in 2012. Cabello released a joint record deal with Epic Records and Syco Music. The early success of her debut album took her to number one in the 2018 Billboard 200 chart.
The album release got critical acclaim, and Cabello’s work got recognized in many industries. She has won two Latin Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, among other titles. She went on to receive five MTV Europe Music Awards. She also won a Billboard Music Award during her career.
Diane Guerrero was just 14 when her parents and older brother got deported. The actress has spent the past few years speaking out on behalf of other deportees, and children fighting for freedom in America or overseas, raising awareness about what families go through during such a difficult time together, and staying strong against all odds no matter where you come from.
Dania is a Latin American actress born and raised in the Dominic Republic while living with her grandmother. Dannia’s parents left for New York when she was just 6 months old, but she finally joined them after 10 years away from family.
From a young age, she knew that acting was what propelled her life. She started with the Soda Commercials and then landed roles in high-profile TV shows like The Sopranos (1999) and Entourage (2004). She also appeared in movies like American Union 2012 and pursued her career while speaking for America’s immigrants’ rights.
Latino-Americans make almost 19% of the American population but artists from this community constitute only 5% of the Hollywood fraternity. Even with such underrepresentation in Hollywood, Latino artists have secured a place among the most influential American celebrities.
Besides leaving their mark on the entertainment industry, they went beyond to influence the social and political spheres. It was Latino celebrities who persuaded the Latino community to vote for the Democratic Party so that some of the much-needed immigration reforms can be realized which as a result 73% of the Latino population have voted for the Democrats. They have also always encouraged and supported members of their community in becoming entrepreneurs and playing an active role in America’s growth and power.