Latinas in Hollywood are ‘Acting Up’ for Equal Pay Day

EQUAL PAY DAYBy 2023-10-06T13:02:29-04:00October 6th, 2023|
  • Alongside WGA and SAG-AFTRA picketers, Latina demonstrators and allies gathered outside of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California on September 29, 2023, to advocate for equal pay and better working conditions for all. Image by Andrew Lugo.

On average, Latinas are paid just 52 cents for every dollar paid to white, non Hispanic men – a decrease from 54 cents in 2021. This number includes part-time workers, gig workers, and migrant and seasonal workers, as well as Latinas working full-time, year round.

Actors Lisa Vidal and Diana Maria Riva are the co-founders of the group Latinas Acting Up, an organization representing underpaid and exploited Latinas and workers across all industries. On September 29th, the group organized a strike outside of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California in solidarity with the then-striking WGA as well as SAG-Aftra, who still have not reached a fair deal with the Hollywood studios. The group was supported by the organization Justice for Migrant Women, whose president and founder Monica Ramirez was in attendance at the rally.

“This moment in history is so important because labor rights are being eroded in this country,” said Ramirez. “We just went through the pandemic where more than a million Latina workers were pushed out of the workforce. This moment in history is literally about our survival. Latinas, we don’t work half as hard, we are not worth half as much, and we are not half as talented. We’re here to raise awareness about the Latina pay gap and that we should be paid the full dollar.

As the group marched (read: salsaed) around the studio gates, Latinas Acting Up’s mission was made loud and clear: “We want equal pay, we want a sustainable living. Although we all have different talents, we are all fighting for the same thing,” said Riva at the Sept 29 rally. “We have a right to take up space. We are allowed to live joyously, and that means getting paid a livable wage.”

“All of us Latinos need to realize that we have been contributing to this country for years and we work our asses off,” Vidal added. “We deserve respect, to get paid, and to be proud of ourselves. It’s super important for us to lift each other up and be unified.”

The National Latina Equal Pay Campaign is anchored by Justice for Migrant Women, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Equal Pay Today!.