‘Orange is the New Black’ Star Diane Guerrero on Stereotypes of Latinas

By Jamilah King Jun 12, 2014

Diane Guerrero plays tough-girl Martiza on "Orange is the New Black." She recently caught up with Vanessa Erazo at Remezcla to talk about her experiences on the show and the perception that her character is perpetuating stereotypes about Latinas in America.

I auditioned for Devious Maids and I wanted the part so bad. I honestly thought, what a clever idea. And, I hear those concerns about perpetuating stereotypes. But, the reality is that a lot of Latinos in America do have a lot of these jobs. I think the way that Devious Maids is portraying it; they have a lot more going on than has been portrayed in films and TV in the past. Also, I think, one of the main characters is actually a lawyer and she is undercover trying to exonerate her son or trying to get her son out of jail or something. Although, I do understand those concerns but I think it is a great thing to show this side of us, a postive side. But, I also expect Latinos to be shown in another way. In like, the lawyer, the doctor, the professional, the one who has help instead of being the help. I also want to see those roles come to life. I think they are showing strong women who work hard and that there is nothing wrong with these jobs. So yes, I don’t have a problem with that.

The same thing goes for Orange is the New Black. People might ask: what do you think about Latinas being portrayed like this or people of color being portrayed like this? I go: it’s true, but this is just a side of us, just like it is a side of white folks or black folks. It is just a story being told. Now, after this, I certainly expect [different roles] — I’ve been seeing a lot more women of color in comedy and in other things coming out.

Read more