COLUMNS / LATIN FRONTIER

Latinos Are Making Hollywood Headlines
Victor Barreiro
2/5/2014

A number of sexy Latinos will soon be protecting the streets of Los Angeles. Well, sort of. FOX TV’s mid-season police series, Gang Related, hasn’t even debuted yet. It comes to the small screen on Tuesday, May 20 (9-10 p.m), and it’s already creating buzz among the Latino community. The series, which will take us on the journey of L.A. Police Detective Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), who has a secret allegiance to a local gang lord, not only has three Latino regulars but will feature a cast of Latino characters who live and work on both sides of the law. “We wanted this show to be steeped with the essence of life in Los Angeles,” says series creator/executive producer Chris Morgan. “We don’t just stay in East Los Angeles. We’re shooting in all areas of L.A.  Wherever the stories take us, that’s where we go.”

“This has certainly been an eye-opening experience for me,” adds Rodriguez, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “I am seeing parts of L.A. I didn’t even know existed.” Unlike Rodriguez, two regular cast members—Jay Hernandez and Rey Gallegos—are from Los Angeles. Not only are they locals, they readily admit that many of the situations and topics explored in this series hit very close to their own life experiences growing up in the City of Angels. “The title says it all, but if the writing works and we do right by our characters, then the stereotypes disappear. And I believe we have that in Gang Related,” said Rodriguez.

Gallegos, who plays harsh gang lieutenant Carlos Acosta, knows a thing or two about what his character feels, as he says he has witnessed almost every aspect of his character’s life while growing up in the neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. “I was born in San Pedro but raised everywhere between 112th and Watts, all the way through Carson, Compton and Gardena,” he explains. “So, I do have a personal responsibility to the character. I feel like I’m portraying him as real as possible from where I came from and giving that person a voice on the street. It was pretty important to me to make him a real human being.”

 

Your drive home may seem like it’s lacking something. Well, that’s because it is! La Comadre Raq-C and Nachin have parted ways with Grupo Radio Centro. The dynamic radio duo learned late last month that the station was changing its programming to a Spanish language, Mexican regional format.

Raquel “Raq-C” Cordova and Ignacio “Nachin” Sandoval continue to express their gratitude for the opportunity they had while on the air at 93.9. The two understand the ability of the station to change the format, the duo felt strongly about staying true to their large listening audience who truly enjoy their bilingual style of programming.

Their chemistry was instant, and the two were a hit from the moment they went on the air last year. It wasn’t long before La Comadre Raq-C and Nachin’s afternoon 1-7 p.m. timeslot shot to the top, making them number one in the ratings. A one-of-a-kind style, mixed with some celebrity gossip and Top 40 music is what captured the attention of thousands of bilingual Latinos across Los Angeles. This was the secret to their success. “That’s a huge accomplishment,” says Nachin. “We presented ourselves as we live in our daily lives and it resonated with a whole lot of people!”

Raq-C says, “The Latino 18-34 year old age group are bilingual and bicultural and this untapped demographic is devoted to our show! We have the only radio program that resonates with the echo-boomer bilingual, bicultural market.”  Raq-C and Nachin want to ensure their fans that they will find the appropriate avenue to continue their unique bilingual approach to broadcasting in the very near future. In the meantime, they will continue to interface and connect with their fans through social media.


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