Gloria Calderon Kellett, Hollywood Powerhouse, on the State of Hollywood for Latinas
November 9, 2023
Gloria Calderón Kellett is an award-winning writer, producer, director, actress and activist. She was an executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director, and actress on the Emmy-winning sitcom “One Day at a Time”. Her critically acclaimed Amazon Original series, “With Love” just released its second season on Amazon. Along with Blumhouse Television, Gloria also executive produced “The Horror of Dolores Roach” based on the hit podcast reuniting her with star Justina Machado.

Gloria is a champion for women, the Latino/a/x/e community and other disenfranchised voices. She is an executive committee member for The Television Academy. She helped Amazon in supporting their inaugural Inclusion Playbook - providing a template for how to make content in an inclusive and responsible way. Her advocacy includes being a founding member of the UNTITLED LATINX PROJECT, a group of Latine show runners who advocate on behalf of the Latine community (by such efforts as the Dear Hollywood initiative) to help studios identify ways to support and tell Latine stories. As an ambassador for the non-profit ReFrame, which celebrates and encourages gender parity in front of and behind the camera and a partner with the Latinx House/Adelante she supported up and coming Latina directors and DPs by having them shadow on the set of With Love. Alongside the Latino Film Institute, LACollab and Amazon she also mentors with The Youth Cinema Project to strengthen the Latino pipeline to Hollywood. Her mentor efforts also include working with the Pillars Artist Fellows, co-founded by Riz Ahmed to support Muslim writers and directors. To offer free advice to new artists at the beginning of their careers, she partnered with Buzzfeed’s Perolike to release a web series titled: “Hollywood 101”which is her 11 part master class offered for free on Youtube for new writers offering advice at the beginning of their career.

I’m not inspired by trends. I’m inspired by hard work, dedication to craft and kindness.

You were named to TIME’s 2023 Top Latina Leaders for your work in entertainment sharing that you have devoted your career to expanding not just the number but also the variety of stories Hollywood tells about the Latino community. What is the state of storytelling for the Latino community in Hollywood now?

It is dire. The latest Annenberg study shows that the numbers are even lower than they were a few years ago. So things are getting worse. So, I just have to roll up my sleeves and keep at it!

This year you were vocal about the need for equitable storytelling. Can you share more about what that means and how others can support that call?

It means that we should look at our population and try to make sure what we see on screen reflects what society actually looks like. Latinos are 19% of the population and less than 5% of the leading roles on our screens. That is not accurately reflecting society. We need to do better and we need people to talk about it, understand how important representation matters and to support it when it exists by watching, sharing on social media and showing up to the box office.

You created With Love which centers on siblings Lily and Jorge Diaz as they navigate life changes and rely on their family to get them through. What does this show mean for you? 

I wanted to show an affluent Latino family that has benefited off of generational wealth. That exists and we never see it. Also, this family is loving and accepting of their 2 LGBTQIA+ family members. Any weirdness happened ages ago and now all thats left is the love. This show is about love and joy and what it looks like to thrive without the trauma that too many of our stories on TV have. 

What are your secrets to managing your many, many hats?

I ask for help. And I hired people that are great at what they do and I let them do their job so I can do mine.

Who is a woman you admire? 

My mom. She came to this country not speaking a word of English and managed to graduate from an American high school at 16 years old. She rebuilt her life in a country that was foreign to her. She walked so I could run.

What’s a trend you see coming in 2024 that inspires you?

 I’m not inspired by trends. I’m inspired by hard work, dedication to craft and kindness.

What’s one thing you cannot live without? 

My family. And coffee.


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