Here’s a little fun fact about me. I love a romantic comedy. Generally, I prefer to keep my movie subjects light and easy. And romantic comedies accomplish that. You have a little bit of drama, humor and of course the strongest force of them all, love. We’ll be talking about it and trying to figure it out for this rest of this life and the next, so it makes sense to put it in the movies.
And in case you hadn’t noticed, Netflix is killing the game as far as romantic comedies go. Whether they feature teen stars, a few of our familiar faves like Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan and Lucy Liu, they are producing some incredible content.
Today, the streaming service announced that they were releasing a new romantic comedy this Spring. It stars Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect), LaKeith Stanfield (Get Out, Sorry to Bother You), DeWanda Wise (“She’s Gotta Have It”) and Gina Rodriguez.
Gina is the lead in this one.
For those of you who have missed the headlines, Gina Rodriguez has put her foot in her mouth on more than one occasion when it comes to Black folk. In so many cases, she doesn’t even have to be asked about Black folk specifically. Still, her opinion comes across as problematic.
For instance, after the predominately Black, largely female cast for Black Panther was reveled and announced, Gina Rodriguez asked about Latina actresses.
When, she spoke at the Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable, she spoke about pay gap, saying that while Black women are paid less than White women, Latina women are paid less than Black women. It was a statistic that was untrue—at least in the entertainment industry. For instance, according to Forbes, Sophia Vergera is the highest paid actress of 2018 at $42.5 million. The first and only Black actress to appear on the list is Kerry Washington at number 8. She receives $11 million.
And then perhaps most famously was her reaction to Xilla Valentine asking Yara Shahidi to explain the impact she has on young, Black women. And though the question wasn’t directed toward her, Rodriguez jumped in to say, “ALL women.”
Nah. Black women. Periodt.
I’m not here to try and convince you that the Latinx community doesn’t suffer from inequality. They certainly do. And if we’re going to speak about the Afro Latinx community, then you already know the issue is compounded as representation is few and far between. But the problem with Rodriguez is that instead of speaking about these issues on her own, as her platform no doubt allows, she would rather attempt to take the focus off Black folks and redirect to the Latinx community. And that’s what we can’t respect. Don’t deflect. It’s no different than White folks “All Lives Matter-ing” us to death. If you want to raise awareness for an issue, then do it. But don’t take the focus and attention off another marginalized group when we’re sharing our stories.
Rodriguez’s hot takes have resulted in more than a few Black people officially cancelling her.
But the new announcement from Netflix has people contemplating whether or not Rodriguez’s problematic notions will keep us from watching this movie that conveniently stars two talented, Black folk…
Check out the trailer and let us know the verdict.
See what people had to say on the following pages.