SAG-AFTRA Summer 2012

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FOCUS TURNS TO E and radio also connects us to the world around us in a real, recognizable way. And our world is diverse. Reflecting this diversity in entertainment, not just in what we hear and see, but behind the scenes as well, has always been and continues to be a priority for SAG- AFTRA. On May 3, members gathered in Los ntertainment doesn't just bring us fantasy; the world of television, film Angeles for a panel and discussion focused on the growing importance of Latino representation in our industry. Conceived and funded by the former SAG Ethnic Employment Opportunities Committee, led by co-chairs Bertila Damas and Sharon Washington, The Latino Voice: Changing the Hollywood Landscape offered an opportunity to discuss the importance of the Latino perspective and involvement in the entertainment industry. "For the Latino community, in LATINO ACTORS Actor Jimmy Smits discusses his experiences while casting director Renita Gale looks on. particular, we have brought some much- needed attention, and I hope with this event we have demonstrated that the union is here to serve and protect them," said Damas. "First and foremost, our responsibility is to serve and empower the members with valuable tools and education. For all our members, each of our EEO Committee events is an affirmation and acknowledgement of our union's strong stand for diversity." Actor and writer Yarelia Arizmendi (A Day Without a Mexican) moderated the panel, made up of professionals she described as experts and "people who have been around for the evolution of Latinos in Hollywood." The panel featured casting director Renita Gale (Spun, Jesus is Magic), director and casting director Risa Bramon Garcia (Twister, Wall Street), casting director Roger Mussenden (X-Men, Valkyrie), actor and producer Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue), and writer and director Chris Weitz. Mussenden explained that our world has become "more multicultural and 26 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2012 | Panelists at The Latino Voice: Changing the Hollywood Landscape discuss issues confronting Latino actors. Valerie Macon/Getty Images Valerie Macon/Getty Images

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