Latino Community Lends National Support To ABC’s “Cristela”


Cristela #1 Show in Its Time Slot 

Overwhelming Support For The ABC Highly Entertaining Family Comedy Cristela

ABC’s Cristela debuted last Friday, October 10th as the number one TV show in its time slot and the #2 comedy debut of the fall season.   Over six million viewers tuned into see the show.

The buzz on Cristela has been building since it became the “little show that could”.  Originally not picked up for a pilot the producers decided to shoot the pilot anyway and it proved to be the best decision for them.  The pilot tested through the roof and the results did not disappoint.

Cristela.HenchTCAThe support for Cristela, which is co-created (with Kevin Hench), co-executive produced, written by and stars Mexican American comedian Cristela Alonzo, crosses cultural lines, but of significance, and in an historic event, many Latino organizations came together to encourage everyone to tune in.

Members of NHLA, the umbrella organization for the 39 leading Latino organizations unanimously consented their support for the new family comedy Cristela for it’s positive portrayal of a Latino Family.   The Latino Premiere Club whose goal is to give Latinos a voice on upcoming film and television projects that tell Latino stories and/or employ Latinos in front and behind the camera, also held screenings for its membership and created a social media campaign to help promote the show.

The show Cristela is about a young woman’s dream of becoming a lawyer, something her traditional Mexican-American family doesn’t quite understand.  She’s entering her sixth year of law school after juggling home obligations and working multiple jobs to pay her way.

Cristela Alonzo is a well known comedienne whose life’s story  reads like a Cinderella story.  Growing up poor in an abandoned diner for the first 6 years of her life, Cristela [Alonzo] is living the American dream.   The family comedy is based on her life and stand up routine and shows an American Latino Family that consists of a law school student, a small business owner, their multi-generational family – all working hard chasing their American dream.

Latino Leaders from across the country express their support for Cristela for what they believe will be a positive impact for the community:

“By supporting a show poised to change the paradigm of how Latinas are portrayed on television, we can make a difference as we advocate for laws and policies to advance the Latino community,” said Hector Sanchez, chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

“It makes my heart swell with pride to see a fellow South Texan, and former constituent, representing our rich and vibrant culture in television media,” said Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC).  “Cristela’s [Alonzo] efforts to rise from a poor upbringing, to become a successful stand-up comedian, and now to have her own television show, are equivalent to the hard work that all Latinos in America put forth to achieve the American dream.  I will be watching and look forward to many successful seasons.”

“I am thrilled to finally see the life of an amazing and talented Latina like Cristela manifest itself in a network television show,” said Esther Aguilera, CHCI President & CEO.  “We have a unique opportunity as a Latino community to support this show and ensure it is successful.  The impact of having positive Latino role models on television for our young Latinos to look up to is immeasurable.”

Cristela at the Latino Premiere Club Screening

“At a time when Washington and the rest of the nation are polarized on almost every issue, here comes a television show – a comedy no less – poised to break down barriers and spark some needed water cooler dialogue,” stated Jose Calderon, President, Hispanic Federation. “With it’s witty script and very relevant subject matter, ABC’s Cristela is a beautiful and hilarious portrait of the American Latino family that has the promise to be our generation’s Cosby Show.”

“As the head of an organization that promotes leadership, Cristela [Alonso] serves as a role model on and off the screen through her new program on ABC, especially to Latinas.  Her personal story is inspiring and to have her being the only Latina to write, produce and star in a sitcom makes anything seem possible for creative young Latinos with “ganas”.  On the screen, I’m thrilled to have her profession be in law and not the stereotypical professions Latinos normally get.  I also like the dynamic of an old-school Latino family mixed with younger generation perspectives which makes for a compelling and entertaining show.”  Antonio Tijerino, President & CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation

“The Cristela show on ABC featuring the electrifying Cristela Alonzo is one of the best new comedies on network TV in decades,” stated LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “The production showcases positive portrayals of Latino characters while remaining incredibly entertaining for all audiences at the same time. It’s a home run for ABC.”

Cristela is a welcome addition to the television schedule,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel.  “By eschewing stereotype in favor of depicting an American Latino family that works hard, has ambition, and experiences the typical family mixture of love and conflict, the show can make a real contribution to improving intergroup understanding in our nation.”

“Cristela Alonzo is smart, funny, engaging, and fiercely proud of who she is.  With one of the most diverse casts and staff on her new TV show Cristela, we couldn’t ask for a better representation of our community in primetime.  Tell everyone you know to watch this show!” Janet Murguia, (NCLR) National Council of La Raza, President and CEO

“It’s never been more important for kids to see themselves in television, movies and literature.  Cristela, a law student; a confident woman; a woman with a family full of love and laughter and conflict, will be a story that connects to Latino and non-Latino families.  Bien hecho”  Lily Eskelsen Garcia, President, (NEA) National Education Association

“How media depicts Latinos matters because the way we are perceived is the way we will be treated in our society,” stated Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the (NHMC) National Hispanic Media Coalition. “As Latinos, we have an opportunity to make a national impact by tuning in to Cristela. It’s time for television to reflect the reality that Latinos are an integral part of the American social fabric.”

“The research is irrefutable – the media influences how people of color are perceived.   And Latinos, especially Latinas, have long been absent or stereotyped in mainstream media, stymieing the cultural shift necessary to improve the lives of American Latinos and reflect our integral position in the social fabric of the U.S.  Cristela is more than just a hilarious story of a modern American Latino family, it is groundbreaking and exciting because, for once, a Latina is telling her own story in mainstream English-language media, paving the way for a greater understanding of the community on a whole,”  Jessica J. Gonzalez, (NHMC) National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Cristela is going to change your world! Through humor and raw honesty, this new breath-of-fresh-air show invites us to experience her story of Latina women, and their families, untold on national television. This moment is larger than Cristela, larger than any individual character or story, because although she never supposes to speak for all Latinos, her work is allowing people to peek behind the curtains and into our lives. The stories Cristela [Alonzo] shares through her television show, and in person, are inspirational and moving. She dares to dream big, and is unapologetic about her lived truth. I am an instant fan of hers. This show will be transformative for Latinos in popular culture.  NYC Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (First Mexican American to be elected in the state of NY)

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