A myth fostered by the entertainment industry, said writer-director Luis Valdez, is that Latinos "only exist in the Southwest, behind adobe walls and under tile roofs."
In an effort to combat such stereotypical portrayals, Valdez and officials from Nosotros and the Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences--organizations that represent Latinos in the entertainment industry--announced formation of the Latino Writers Group, designed to increase wages and improve employment opportunities for Latino writers.
"The embryo is the screenplay," said Valdez, who wrote "Zoot Suit" and "La Bamba." "The embryo, in fact, is what is written on the page. This is where you begin to tell the difference between a stereotype and reality."
Reality for many Latino writers appears bleak as far as employment opportunities are concerned, Valdez said. The intent of the Latino Writers Group is to ameliorate conditions for those "who feel themselves invisible, alienated and divorced from the practical decision-making of the entertainment industry," he said.