Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Army Wives: Por Fin, Latinos Cast!

Alyssa Diaz
After six seasons, Lifetime’s Army Wives finally includes a Latina wife (Alyssa Diaz) and her husband (Joseph Julian Soria), also a Latino. Finally, the show is heading toward a more balanced image representation.  Bravo, I’m not complaining, but dang, why didn’t this happen back in 2007 when the show premiered?

I’m reminded of how veteran comedian/actor Danny Mora would end his shows back in the day when he was still on the road, it went something like this:

Do you realize that President Bill Clinton was the first president ever to hire Mexicans/Latinos in the White House Kitchen… how come it took so long? What were they afraid of?

That we were going to hijack the presidential limo and go low riding?
Put Tequila in the White House Ballroom punch ball?
String a burro PiƱata in the middle of the Oval Office?
Or worse spray paint our names on a wall?”

Let me tell you something… ladies and gentlemen there is a wall in Washington DC with more of our share of names—not sprayed painted—but etched in granite in the order in which they fell serving our country, and it’s called the Vietnam Memorial. Next time you’re in nation’s capitol, check it out.

Joseph Julian Soria
Alyssa Diaz (Shark Night3D, Red Dawn/MGM 11/2012 release) and Joseph Julian Soria (CSI: Miami, Lincoln Heights, The Shield) portray married couple Hector and Gloria Cruz and it is obvious they’re Latino so the fake accent (especially on Gloria’s part) is just plain annoying.

Hollywood has consistently made errors of omission throughout the years. I had a friend tell me he had a hard time justifying WW11 to his grandkids because after watching Saving Private Ryan a few years ago, there isn’t one Latino visible and when the cameras panned the military cemetery, not one Latino surname was visible.  Steven Spielberg didn’t get his facts right here. From one street alone, over 105 Mexican Americans served in WW11… Google “Hero Street USA.” According to the National World War 11 Museum between 250,000 and 500,000 Hispanic Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces!  I won’t even get into Vietnam and the Afghan/Iraq war. Latinos have been part of the U.S. military since the formation of this union!

And today the U.S. Latino population tops 50 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and am thrilled that finally, Army Wives has a Latino couple and hopefully, their roles will grow touching upon the trials and tribulations of the stress, drama and trauma of being in the military and how it strains and/or strengthens relationships.

Listen, I’m pleased as punch that Army Wives has included in its casting a pair of super talented Latinos… and trust me I’m not complaining, I’m celebrating this fact, but TV writers and movie makers, if you’re interested, there is a wealth of books in the library perhaps you’ve missed these titles to capture the reality. Like it or not, there is a growing generational shift in which Latinos continue to gain political clout and, by 2050, could make up a third of the U.S. population.

Remember, a full 12.6 percent of the Army is comprised of Latinos, and it's high time we are acknowledged on television for our contributions to American society.

Army Wives, airs Sundays at 10PM (EST/PST) on Lifetime TV
Stars: Alyssa Diaz, Joseph Julian Soria, Catherine Bell, Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Wendy Davis, Drew Fuller, Terry Serpico, Brian McNamara, and Sterling K. Brown.

Latinowood / Elia Epsarza
Army Wives: Por Fin, Latinos Cast! July 11, 2012 © All Rights Reserved

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