Following the backlash of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights film adaptation, a larger conversation around colorism and representation of darker-skinned Afro-Latinx folks has emerged. Unfortunately, this conversation has always been at the forefront for one Afro-Cubana in particular who has been using her platform as an actress to uplift necessary messaging about colorism within and toward the Latin community.
As the daughter of Cuban immigrants, Gina Torres has always noted the importance of representation for Latinos with darker skin, and on Twitter, she’s finally getting her flowers for during so. Hair Love author Matthew A. Cherry tweeted of Torres’ talent following the HBO Max movie’s controversy writing, “The way Gina Torres would have destroyed In The Heights,” to the tune of 15,000 likes.
Actress Reagan Gomez chimed in to reflect on Torres’ words about the erasure of Black Latinos and darker-skinned LatinX folks throughout her 20 years in the industry, adding, “not much has changed.”
In a recent CNN interview, which Torres posted on social media, she recalled instances of her experience as an Afro-Latina actress from requesting that 9-1-1- Lone Star‘s female lead was Afro-Latino to initially feeling like she was “sacrificing one part of her identity over the other.”
Afro-Latina actress Alycia Pascual-Peña (Peacock’s Saved By The Bell, Netflix’s Moxie) commented under Torres’ Instagram post thanking her for work in the entertainment industry. Gente-fied‘s Julissa Calderon commented, “Thank you for paving the way. And THANK YOU for your words on me. Really made my heart full.” In her interview, Torres said she was “so moved and proud of performances” by Calderon and referred to her as “very talented.”
If you’re not familiar with Torres’ work, now is the time to get up to speed. Check out some of her best roles over the years below.