By EMILY STEEL
El Rey, the English-language cable television network aimed at second- and third-generation Latinos, is spearheading a new diversity council to push the entertainment industry to create content and recruit talent that better represents the multicultural mix of the country.
Despite representing nearly one-fifth of the United States population, Latinos made up just 4.1 percent of television directors and less than 2 percent of producers and writers between 2010 and 2013, according to a NALIP/Columbia University report. (NALIP is the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.) In film, Latinos made up about 2 percent of directors and producers and 6 percent of writers, the report found.
The El Rey Diversity council — a partnership of leading national Latino groups — is focused on changing that ratio as well as promoting more diverse programming. The council’s formation is expected to be announced on Thursday during an industry conference.
“It has been my personal commitment from the beginning for El Rey Network to not only set very high standards for the kind of quality entertainment we provide our viewers, but also to set industry standards and high benchmarks for diversity both in front of and behind the camera,” said the filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, the founder of El Rey.
The group will meet for the first time this month in Austin, Tex.
Separately, former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to participate in a question-and-answer session next week during the upfront sales presentation to advertisers for the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, according to an invitation sent out Wednesday. Network executives believe that he will will help speak to the growth and the influence of Latinos.
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