'Hollywood Remixed': 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Star Stephanie Beatriz on Queer Latina Representation

Ramona Rosales
Stephanie Beatriz

In the first season finale of The Hollywood Reporter's podcast, hosts Rebecca Ford and Rebecca Sun explore the most disproportionately underrepresented onscreen demographic -- Latinas -- and speak with the actress about how she represents both the Latina and queer communities in her work.

Welcome to the first season finale episode of Hollywood Remixed, The Hollywood Reporter's podcast about culture change and inclusion in entertainment.

Each week, hosts Rebecca Sun (senior reporter) and Rebecca Ford (awards editor) explore a type of character or story that traditionally has been underrepresented or misrepresented in pop culture, and interview a special guest whose work exemplifies a new breakthrough in representation. Each episode is dedicated to a single theme, revisiting groundbreaking classics and introducing listeners to hidden gems, in order to better understand how film and television in the past have shaped progress in the present.

In episode eight, "Nine-Nine Characters but a Latina (Usually) Ain't One," debuting Dec. 25, the Rebeccas turn the spotlight on the most disproportionately underrepresented onscreen demographic: Latinas. While they constitute about 20 percent of American women in real life, on television they represent 7 percent of women with dialogue (and just 2.8 percent of speaking characters overall). Film hasn't fared much better – two-thirds of the 1,200 highest-grossing movies from the past dozen years were entirely devoid of Latina characters. Fortunately, peak TV has yielded not just more Latinas on the small screen, but a more heterogenous array of them.

This week's special guest is Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriz, who speaks with the Rebeccas about how she's helped shape her character, detective and resident badass Rosa Diaz — who is both Latina and bisexual (Beatriz talks specifically about how significant it was to her that Diaz came out during the show's 99th and 100th episode in 2017). Along with discussing the responsibility she feels to represent the intersection of two communities, Beatriz teases her upcoming film projectIn the Heights. Warner Bros.' adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit features a majority Latinx cast and comes out June 26.

In honor of the episode's guest, the Rebeccas open the episode with a run down of the growing group of queer Latinas on television, from Carmen de la Pica Morales (Sarah Shahi) on the original The L Word and Grey's Anatomy's Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) to the coming-of-age stories of Glee's Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and One Day at a Time's Elena Alvarez (Isabella Gomez).

This week's episode wraps up Hollywood Remixed's first season. Ahead of the show's return for its second season in 2020, make sure to subscribe to the series on your preferred podcasting platform. And catch up with all of the first season's previous episodes, featuring Last Christmas star Henry Golding on Asian leading men, This Is Us and Waves star Sterling K. Brown on black fatherhood, The Good Place's William Jackson Harper on black nerds, Star War's John Boyega on race in space and much more.