Today Hulu announced that the Emmy-nominated series East Los High will end with an hour-long finale this fall. The show was one of the few scripted digital realm series created by Latinos with an all-Latino cast and majority Latino writing staff. The National Hispanic Media Coalition says the cancellation of East Los High is a loss for diversity in entertainment. The series became one of the Hulu’s top 10 shows, helping draw one million unique visitors monthly to its Hulu Latino page. Additionally, East Los High won the award for Outstanding Online Series at last year’s Latino Impact Awards, hosted by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition said:
“The ending of East Los High on Hulu is a tremendous loss of a show that celebrated diversity through the story it portrayed and the way it broke barriers in the entertainment industry as one of the only series to be created, produced, written by and starring Latinos. Viewers are already looking for the next series that will boldly represent them behind and in front of the camera and NHMC will continue to work with Hulu in their future efforts to support diverse and culturally relevant programming over the long-term.”
The show was the first original series on Hulu to be granted a fourth season – the big break that Latino creatives needed. The series has staffed Latino writers, including alumni of NHMC’s TV writers program, on every season and they need more opportunities to tap into the immense talent in their communities and put their stories on the screen.
Mauricio Mota, executive producer of East Los High, accepted NHMC’s Latino Impact Award for the series saying, “We are still going through what I call a “Rosita Parks” situation with Latino content both with studios and media: You can be here, but please stay in the back of the bus. We want your eyeballs but not your stories. East Los High was created knowing audiences were starving for content that was diverse, edgy, and creative. It’s a show about English-speaking Latinos, but it relates to audiences everywhere.”
Watch Mota’s acceptance speech here:
Nine graduates of NHMC’s Latino TV Writers Program were staffed on East Los High. The writers program, accepting applications, is a five-week, total immersion workshop that simulates an actual writer’s room and participants develop an original pilot, practice pitching their writing and learn how to market themselves and get an agent.
The NHMC Television Writers Program, sponsored by NBCUniversal and Disney/ABC Television Group, was created to expand the number of Latinos working behind the camera, as a way to increase fair and accurate portrayals of Latinos on television. During the 2013-14 television season, Latinos composed only 2.8 percent of writers staffed on TV shows, despite that Latinos make up 17% of the U.S. population.
About the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC)
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications.