Updated 05:54 AM EDT, Tue, Apr 20, 2021

Eva Longoria Says Programming Latino Shows Scare TV Networks

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Eva Longoria has some thoughts about how TV networks handle shows that feature Latinos.

"What I found over the years is that networks are so committed to developing diversity, but they're very, very scared about actually programming it," Longoria said, as quoted by an Associated Press report published on Fox News Latino. The 39-year-old actress is producing "Devious Maids" for Lifetime and will star in the upcoming NBC sitcom "Telenovela."

Marc Cherry, who was also responsible for "Desperate Housewives" (which Longoria previously starred in), created "Devious Maids" originally for ABC, but the show landed a slot on cable instead, AP added. The series' lead stars are all Latinos.

The Associated Press' analysis of television diversity has discovered that ABC, FOX, and NBC have a higher percentage of black actors in their primetime shows. This is despite Latinos outnumbering blacks (17.1 to 13.2, percentage wise) present in the United States based on the U.S. Census Bureau figures in 2013.

Adam Moore, SAG's national director of affirmative action, said that "outsiders have difficulty navigating differences within the Latino community; the experiences of people with different ancestry are markedly different." The Associated Press noted that even though CW's "Jane the Virgin" proved to be a huge success among the masses, the ABC comedy titled "Cristela" was unfortunate. Some critics claim that the ABC show was "perpetuating stereotypes."

Asians, Native Americans and Alaska Natives also fall short when it comes to appearances on TV, despite being put at about 1.2 percent of the population by the Census Bureau in 2013. Sonny Skyhawk, an actor and founder of American Indians in Film and Television, has been observing the issue since 1980, AP noted.

"Asian-Americans, who make up 5.3 percent of the U.S. population, have fallen short with TV networks as well. Except for CBS, which matches that census figure, the other networks' fall lineups included no more than 2.6 percent Asian-American characters," the news outlet reported.

Kweisi Mfume, the former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People or NAACP, was quoted by AP, and he said that the inequality between African-Americans other minorities may have resulted from "the NAACP's status as the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group, reinforced by an industry misconception that the issue was primarily a black one." 

Eva Longoria to Star in 'Telenovela'

NBC recently announced that Longoria will star in "Telenovela," a 13-episode single-camera comedy series which will revolve around the character of Ana Maria, a woman who "strives to stay on top in a world where the drama on-camera is nothing compared with what's happening offscreen," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"There are few actresses with as much international appeal as Eva Longoria," said NBC president Jennifer Salke, as quoted by PEOPLE. "She is a perfect fit for 'Telenovela'."

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