By Elia Esparza
Actor/Activist and a favorite FB instigator, Esai Morales, has been consistently delivering important information and messages to his diverse network of friends, colleagues and family. Morales is using Social Media to make positive impact, change and bring about awareness about the issues that are important to our planet, Latino community, animal protection laws, and calling out politicians who do not have the best interest of its citizens.Sometimes, Morales just wants to share something he found inspirational… quotes from Ghandi, Muhammad Ali, for examples… but most of all the activist-actor is always ready to raise issues others in his industry would just as soon overlook. We call that being a part of the problem and Morales is determined to be a part of the solution.And, all of his posts strikes a chord with his network and generates plenty of responses.
For example, after actress Lupe Ontiveros died on July 26th, a lot was written about her passing, life, and career, all to which Morales readily agreed with. After all, Lupe was a close and personal friend. Her passing hit him like a ton of bricks, which is why we feel compelled to share one particular post the actor made about his friend’s funeral services:
“I went to the memorial services for Lupe Ontiveros today and was blown away by all of the love she inspired and ppl [people] whose lives she touched so profoundly.
And while there was so much beauty and honest expressions of love and emotion the only observation that troubled me, to be frank, was that there didn’t seem to be any non-Latino celebs/actors there to honor her wonderful legacy and memory. As if she only resonated with our community [Latino]. She was and deserved so much more than that and I so missed seeing the “mainstream” artists she worked with [throughout her career] paying their respects. Maybe it wasn’t their fault and they just weren’t invited or I didn’t see them.
It pains me to know that La Lupe never got the chance to play and shine in so many roles that she was so capable of portraying because of her “look,” I suppose, or lack of characters written as if we have never had any Latina judges, doctors, business women, political leaders, Surgeon Generals, etc. from a similar background.
Why do we starve some or most of our best artists out of their chance to play the simple truth about ourselves and just incarcerate them in the same tired stereotypes which Lupe nevertheless infused with her own personal authenticity, dignity and irreverence? What did she/we do to engender such callous indifference from the industry/mainstream media we so loyally consume and enrich? Why bother working so hard to open doors for others when they are consistently slammed back shut in our faces with only very few exceptions.
Sorry if I seem self-indulgent or self-serving but I can barely stand it anymore. We are being denied our own history and heritage in media and academics now with the ban of books and perspectives in the southwest that, however factual, deviate from the status quo or threatens to properly inform our young. When will this end?
How can anything more than a quietly subservient handful of artists survive and thrive in such a suffocating climate?”
Do you agree with Esai’s observations and comments? Both Latin Heat and Esai are interested in what you have to say about this.
Morales stars as the handsome and debonair D.A. on Fairly Legal (USA Network), and patriarch of Los Valenzuelas on Los Americans Web Series and currently co-stars with Samatha Mathis in the upcoming film Atlas Shrugged: Part II. In addition, he generously contributes to many charitable organizations and environmental causes.
Esai Morales is using social media to mobilize initiatives for a better world.