Jay Hernandez on Why He Feels a "Responsibility" to Create Positive Latino Stories
On-screen Latino stories can sometimes be few and far in between, something that is changing slowly.
But it isn't often that you get to catch a Latino-led show on a major network leading into its fifth season like Magnum P.I. is currently doing.
Yet actor Jay Hernandez has proven to be his own special version of a Latino unicorn as the lead of the NBC hit show that kicked off its current season on February 19.
He tells People Chica, "This is something I feel very strongly about. I mean, this is a really long discussion, but I can add try to truncate it—but, you know, I've been in this business for 20-plus years and I've seen, you know, what it was like people in the business trying to make things happen prior to sort of my generation and me and just how, you know, this lack of diversity has been a real problem in Hollywood.
"And, you know, I do feel some level of responsibility in terms of bringing a positive image of a Latino in America. You know, you turn on the news, you turn on the TV, and there's just so much negativity and so much rhetoric in terms of like politically what people think and narratives they're trying to feed. And I do look at what I do as a sort of counterbalance to all that," Hernandez continues.
"Look, everybody, a lot of people in America, millions of people, would tune in every week and see somebody with the last name Hernandez be the hero and not the villain. And that's important to me. And I think it's important for America, Latinos, but also everybody, you know, whether regardless of what color you are or what your background is or your ethnicity or religion, to see us in a positive light," the Magnum P.I. actor details.
Hernandez notes that he feels a deep "responsibility" to bring stories that those in Magnum P.I. and his film The Long Game to the masses.
"And once again, I felt, like, some degree of responsibility to tell these stories and to sort of advance the narrative for Latinos in America in a positive way," he asserts.