Gina Rodriguez has long expressed her anger over the lack of representation of Latinos in the media.
Just recently, the Jane the Virgin actress chatted on the SAG Awards red carpet about the issue and said,
“Yay Sony for putting a Latino as the lead, because apparently, people do that. I mean, we do make 55 million plus in the country. No big deal. You should throw us in a movie or two. It would make sense. We do buy one in every four tickets, every single weekend, and make sure that your movies do well. So it would do you a service, and not only a service, it would be, I don’t know, integrity.”
So instead of waiting for network executives to come around, she’s decided to do it herself.
We previously reported that Gina has a couple of projects in the works that she was executive producing and now we have more details.
Her show for CBS, Have Mercy, will focus on a forty-something Cuban doctor who moves to Miami. But once she comes to the states, she realizes she can’t afford to take all the exams required of international doctors and has to settle for a job as a nurse assistant. The show will, of course, take place in our current political atmosphere. Gina explained,
“It’s people in Hialeah and Little Haiti, all these people who are now undocumented and they’re scared to go to the hospital. They realize there’s a doctor in their midst, and she starts treating them illegally in her home. I don’t want to hit people over the head with politics, but I think the one thing most people can agree on is that people should be able to see a doctor. It’s my way of telling an undocumented story where I feel like people aren’t seeing these people as blatant criminals but as real humans who are suffering.”
Gina is producing the show through her own production company I Can & I Will. She added that she was particularly excited to work with CBS because the show is so out of their realm.
“CBS isn’t known to put a lot of controversial stuff on their network, and I do think they know where they stand and this is part of them attempting to change. When I pitched it, they loved the specificity of Mercedes’s character and her background and heart, so I hope if they do move forward with it, they will keep the character intact because it won’t work without her at the center of it.”
She’s also working with The CW for a dramedy about a family who is undocumented in the U.S, with a focus on a teenager who was brought over as a young child. The show is currently called Illegal.