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AFTRA Panel at NALIP Conference to Examine Latino Diversity in Entertainment

Posted April 15, 2011

Jason George Moderates Discussion with Rosa Blasi, Jason Manuel Olazabal, Emilio Rivera, Lisa Vidal

LOS ANGELES (April 15, 2011) – The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO – a national union of more than 70,000 performers, recording artists and broadcast professionals – is proud to be a sponsor of the 2011 National Association of Latino Independent Producers Conference which takes place April 15-17 at The Island Hotel in Newport Beach. The NALIP Conference, now in its 12th year, is attended annually by Latino actors, executives, producers, students and those interested in Latino film and television content. The theme of the 2011 NALIP Conference is “THE NEW NOW: Defining the Future Together.”

In addition to being a sponsor, AFTRA will present a panel, “Latino/a Performers Transforming the Mainstream,” which will examine how Latino/a performers are creating roles and storylines that positively reflect their culture and backgrounds, as well as accurately reflecting the diversity of the American Scene. The panel takes place Saturday, April 16 at 4:15 p.m.

“Latino/a Performers Transforming the Mainstream” features panelists who are AFTRA members currently working on AFTRA-covered entertainment programming. The panel will be moderated by AFTRA Local and National Board Member and AFTRA Los Angeles 4th Vice-President Jason George (“Off the Map”). Panelists include AFTRA members Rosa Blasi and Jason Manuel Olazabal (“Make It Or Break It”), Emilio Rivera (“The Sons of Anarchy”) and Lisa Vidal (“The Event”).

George, who also serves as co-chair of the AFTRA Los Angeles Local Equal Employment Opportunities Committee, will speak on the panel about the importance of roles accurately portraying diverse characters in the media. “Film and television are the mirror America uses to see itself,” notes George. “If that reflection is distorted we can never truly see who we are as a country. Numbers and statistics tell us that Latinos are the fastest growing and soon-to-be largest segment of the population and it will be film and television – conceived and authenticated by Latino producers – that will show us the beauty of that changing face of America.”

AFTRA member Lisa Vidal stars as the first lady in the AFTRA-covered television program “The Event” appearing opposite fellow AFTRA member Blair Underwood who plays the president. Vidal reaffirms the importance of Latino/a performers in mainstream media: “Latinos in this industry have come a long way and the demand on Hollywood to create positive role models is stronger than ever,” states Vidal. “It is important for us all to band together and to continue to bring this subject to the forefront.”

The 90-minute panel is open to all NALIP Conference attendees. For more information about the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and the 2011 NALIP Conference, please visit www.nalip.org.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, broadcasters, singers, dancers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet and other digital media. The 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists of AFTRA are working together to protect and improve their jobs, lives, and communities in the 21st century. From new art forms to new technology, AFTRA members embrace change in their work and craft to enhance American culture and society. Visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.

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