The National Hispanic Media Coalition has tapped a dozen new members of its Television Writers Program.
The class of 2018 comprises Maritza Avelar, Daniela Bailes, Allegra Caldera, Michelle Calderon, Eric Esquivel, Pamela Garcia-Rooney, Emanuel Gironi, Jerry Hernandez, Elfi Martinez, Natalia Provates, Lisa Quintela, and Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez.
Participants will be mentored by former NBC VP of script development in a five-week workshop simulating a writers' room, where the writing team will create a pilot and learn how to pitch it. NBC and ABC sponsor the program, with an assist from Southwest Airlines and Final Draft.
They will also get to mix and mingle with TV network entertainment executives and planned events and meetings.
“In an industry that has a history of excluding Latinos in front and back of camera, it is vital that we push back against the exclusion while preparing our writers to tell our stories and helping our talented actors and directors have the opportunities to show what they can do through the narratives our writers put on the page," said NHMC President Alex Nogales.
NHMC quantified that exclusion: "In scripted television, Latino actors were only 6% and in cable scripted shows, 5.6%," it said.
According to the Census Bureau, Latinos make up almost 18% of the U.S. population.
To date, said NHMC, the program has resulted in 60 graduates getting jobs with, or shows on, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CW, BET, HBO, Showtime, Starz, Disney Jr., Hulu, and Netflix.