In a letter to EUR, Valdes-Rodriguez said she was disappointed with some of
the negative comments in the feedback section directed at Martin Chase for
taking on a Hispanic-helmed project. The author wrote:
When The Hollywood Reporter this week announced my deal with legendary film producer Debra Martin Chase to turn my bestselling novel The Dirty Girls Social Club into a movie, along with producer Nely Galan, I was overjoyed.
It marked not just my book making it to the big screen, and my first foray into the world of screenwriting. It was also a landmark collaboration between a seasoned African-American woman producer (Martin Chase) and two newcomer Hispanic women producers (me and Galan) in the white, male-dominated world of American film.
While Galan (former head of Telemundo Entertainment and creator of reality hit The Swan) has plenty of experience in TV, Martin Chase (the award-winning producer of The Princess Diaries and its sequel; Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel; and The Cheetah Girls movies) generously took us under her wing in a way no non-minority or male producer would have, and showed us how to get a movie made.
In short, she believed in us. It made me realize that a key to Latino success in all sectors of American business would likely come in the form of mentorship from successful African-Americans.
What I did not expect was the nasty backlash Martin Chase is getting from some people in the black community who seem to think she ought to stick to telling only those stories they believe are “theirs.” These comments are running rampant on black entertainment web sites, such as Eurweb.
The hostility against Latinos among some blacks who assume Latinos have nothing in common with them is startling, but not altogether surprising, given the way the U.S. media neglects to mention our shared African roots, with nonsensical headlines like “Hispanics Outnumber Blacks,” which is as absurd as “Fruit Outnumbers Oranges.”