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Q) ALMA has always had great music and I wanted to get a better handle on what the music was going to be this time besides Pitbull and Flo Rida. I guess Christina Aguilera won't be performing, is that right? But other people will be performing in a tribute to her? Do you know what other musicians you're going to have on the show?
Barry: We are saving some of that for the rollout, you know, right close to the show. We're actually - even though we're taping next week the actual show is not - for two weeks as Janet pointed out. So those things are going to be released. We have some very exciting things in the works. And you'll be seeing about them in the coming days. There will be music like in all ALMA shows. There'll be some very exciting things for you to see.
Q) Eva, this is your fifth year producing the show. How did you come to be involved with the ALMAs and NCLR in the first place? And are you a hand's on producer?
Eva: Yes. I've been involved with NCLR for a long time; I think since Young and the Restless - attending NCLR (performances) and really working with them as the largest advocacy group for Latinos in America. They do a lot outside of the ALMAs. And so that's when I started with NCLR was through advocacy and activism. So when they - the ALMAs came back - we had an opportunity to bring them back when they were away for a while and NCLR came to me and so we kind of formed this great partnership that's been pretty successful. And, yeah, I'm a pretty active producer. You can ask Barry or Janet about that.
Q) How do you juggle that with your schedule with filming and everything?
Eva: Well it's been crazy because I've been campaigning a lot for the President. And it's been great, you know, usually - it's usually harder whenever I was on Desperate Housewives, that was a little harder. But, yeah, you make it work. It's a very important show.
Q) I feel like that the Latin community and through your efforts they certainly get a lot more exposure. How do you feel about the way that they are presented in terms of their profile? Do you feel like there still needs to be more emphasis on elevating the roles that they have to get rid of a stereotype or how do you feel that needs to be addressed?
Janet: I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at. But if what you're saying is that do we have more work to do to make sure that more diversity and inclusion are seen as part of the many media platforms out there today the answer is yes.
Q) Yeah, that they're not still just stereotyped and put into certain roles that the work that you feel that still needs to be done to elevate them.
Janet: Yeah, I think for us we just want quality stories told. I think for us, you know, depending on the role that, you know, the Hispanic figure or personality is featured it just depends on the story and if it's an authentic story. And we want more of those stories to be at the forefront. And for us it's really important to see more opportunities for Hispanics in all of these mediums. And we hope that the ALMAs showcase us on the contributions that have been made in the past, what's happening today but we want to keep advocating for more opportunities for diversity and inclusion in the future.
Q) And I was wondering, you know, how Eva found - you know, feels about it and if she feels the same way?
Eva: We have a lot to do. I think as a community we have to get behind the camera and we have to start creating our own stories and our images. You know, a great example of this is Devious Maids which I'm an exec producer on. And being able to put four lead Latinas on a show, telling the remarkable stories of these four complex women it's, you know, and example of what we need to continue to do as writers, as producers, as directors we need to create our story.
George: But also in the media you have to change your thinking in order - even your question, you know, to put stereotype in a question that is about the progress of Latinos is a bit stereotypical as well. So, you know, we all need to do better as people not just as Latinos. And obviously, you know, when you look at some other award shows they tend to be a little bit hard to watch and hard to take. The ALMAs, on the other hand, is very colorful and it moves and it's funny and it's vibrant. I think a lot of the other award shows suffer because they have a lack of vibrancy. And this one, you know, it's on Mundos and Telemundo and NBC and it's performers who cross over to other cultures when if you look at the American Music Awards a lot of the time it's just a one-sided appeal.
Barry: Although may I say on behalf of Dick Clark Productions we try our best to make the American Music Awards be as universal and appealing as we possibly can.
Q) Eva, of course Iím sure you're happy with how great it's going and how many people watch it. And from what I've read the ratings keep going up every year. Why do you think these types of awards are important for the Latino community?
Eva: Yeah, I mean, I think it's important to - the media tends to define a lot of things whether it's politics, political candidates, ethnicities, communities. And so, you know, at a time when some of those communities are under attack it's responsible for the NCLR and our community to showcase positive portrayals of Latinos in music, in television, in film and to make sure we're showing them our best - you know, we're putting our best foot forward and saying this is really what we look like; these are our contributions. And that's really what the ALMAs represent is, you know, all of the great contributions that so many people in front of and behind cameras, microphones, the movie sets, you know, what they're doing and applauding it. And that's what the ALMAs do.
Q) Well personally, from your own thoughts, is Hollywood getting better at it? Do you think they're getting better toward Latinos and giving us the type of exposure we really need as opposed to the stereotypes we're always seeing sometimes?
George: Well, you know, I will say that, you know, with the ALMAs and you look at who's being honored we're not secondary celebrities anymore. I don't think we ever have been. So we're - our celebrity is on the level of everyone else. If you look at Eva, Eva is a celebrity of the highest magnitude all over the world not only in the Southwest of the United States of America. So if you look at Christina Aguilera, tremendous success on a show that's incredibly successful. And if you look at Pitbull as the musical director, composer of the song and performer on the highest level, on a global level. So these celebrities now are global and not just regional. That's an important thing to also realize is that Latinos and the people that we honor now are wildly successful, globally successful and we're honoring them with our pride and we want everybody to see that.
Janet: I would just add too that one thing that we have been proud of too is that the ALMAs have been a platform to feature young and upcoming talent and stars. And that combination of featuring, you know, those folks who have been the most successful with that next wave or the next generation of young and talented stars they can point to Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera and even, yes, a young Eva Longoria - can point to the fact that they were on the ALMAs or featured on the ALMAs before they saw the success and the trajectory that they took on. And we hope that ALMAs will continue to be a platform and a pivot point upward for so many of our younger talent as well. So I hope it's a nice complement of both our strong and successful individuals in our community who are making incredible contributions but also people are seeing it as an opportunity for us to feature the next generation of talent.
George: Even with the Olympians who are American athletes who are Latino as well that's, you know, our contributions to this country in the sports format in the Olympics. They're important.
Q) You guys have been the hosts of this show for I think it's three years. What is the new thing or is there going to be like a new theme that you guys are going to be focusing on to make it more different, maybe more positive?
Eva: Well every year George and I mix it up because usually George's comedy is pretty relevant to current events. And so this is a really big year obviously with the elections coming up. And we've had a lot - a lot of fun things have happened this year. And so we're usually current-event-related. So every year is a little different and exciting and fun. And, you know, one year we did a skit with Cheech and Chong and next year we'll do something else. And so this year, you know, we're actually formulating all of our stuff right now. But George can speak more to that.
George: Yes, that's a good point. You know, Eva is a - and Janet and everybody involved, Barry and everybody, has always been a free place to be a little bit political but also not to cross the line because we're not trying to beat people over the head with a flag that says recognize us. Our work speaks for itself. But also you want to have fun in a room where it's our industry and things that are relative to us and things that we can all laugh about. I love, personally, this year watching the RNC and the DNC politicians add a little Spanish to their English. And I would like to say that I've been doing that myself for 20 years to my success. So, you know, in the pot - in the melting pot that is this world and this country we are now - have a little bit of, you know, a little bit of meat in the stew.
Janet: I would just add that Eva and George both pointed to the importance of an election year. When we ask our folks to vote for the award winners who are the ALMA Award winners - and I think you'll see a theme of we're going to encourage them to vote all the way through November. And I think the election will be one theme just happened to be in an election year. And that's an important part and aspect of our community's empowerment.
Q) At every award show you really have to up the ante to get viewers to tune in in an increasingly crowded space. Can you tell us will there be any segments that will be different from last year? And can you explain the introduction of a more mass-market crossover appeal with a black rapper with a Latina such as Roselyn Sanchez who will be featured in the show?
Eva: You know, every year we've actually always done collaborations. I mean, we - from the beginning of the ALMAs we've always done different collaborations, country with rap and rap with, you know, a pop and pop with different collaborations regarding music. So that's one thing we love to promote with the ALMAs is inclusion. This is an inclusive show. We celebrate diversity. And that means, you know, having a mix of presenters and a mix of musical performances. And so we always pride ourselves on those collaborations. You know, and every year is different because we honor the past year. One year will be heavy in Latinos in television, another year will be heavy with Latinos in music and another year will be like oh my God every Latina was in a movie and so every year is different because of that because we are held to honor the most recent successes and people that are relevant in the past year.
Q) The Olympics I think was mentioned, is that correct?
Eva: The Olympics, we're honoring all the Olympians. Also with Christina Aguilera, you know, she's classic and so we always do these, you know, obviously some recognition to people who have just contributed for a long amount time to the Latino community. But she's so relevant now because her show is really big and everything that she's been doing philanthropically. And so we thought, you know, it's time we honor her. And we're just excited about it. Every year it's exciting because every year the show is kind of a blank slate; we have to start anew every time.
George: But also I think that even in the past seen Lupe Ontiveros who was a tremendous pioneer in television and movies who we all loved, you know, the ALMA Awards are special because we get a chance to take a moment to honor her and to show her work and to show her and her family and all of her fans how much we love Lupe and how much we miss Lupe as well.
Q) Both of you are nominated so that must be awesome to be hosts and nominated.
George: It really is. I've won multiple times and it really is a - I mean, I have them where I can see them everyday. Really it is - when you work hard to be honored by your peers but also on a large scale like the ALMAs which means something to every Latino performer young and old that it is quite an accomplishment to be chosen to win an award.
Eva: I always pull myself out of the categories as a producer. And they talked me into keeping myself in the movie category because that movie was just so great and Andy Garcia is amazing in it. And everybody - a lot of people were nominated from For Greater Glory. And I was very proud of it. But usually I always pull myself out. And so I was trying to pull myself out again.
Q) And then you guys nominated Naya Rivera who had such an important storyline on Glee and being openly lesbian and then dealing with her religious mother.
George: You know, that's a good storyline for all people, any actor, and, yeah, I think that's - it's contemporary and it's nice that we get to play those parts as well.
Q) I was curious if you expand a little bit on the information about which Olympians will be there? Were they voted on for an honor or can you talk about how you're going to honor them.
Barry: I think, again, much like a previous question, we are rolling out this information to, you know, promote the show closer to the airing. But we have, you know, we have gathered from a round the country many of the American Latino Olympic-medal winners that, you know, from various sports and we'll be announcing their names very shortly.
Q) From the past shows what is everybody's most memorable moment so far?
Janet: I thought our tribute to Linda Ronstadt was really wonderful. We did a tribute to Linda Ronstadt, Winona Ryder was part of it, Lou Settle was part of it. There was - to me that was a really terrific moment where we saw that, you know, someone who was talented in our community and had basically a long legacy behind her and others were eager to come and honor her. And so for me that was a great moment.
Eva: God, one of mine Andy Garcia. I don't know why that one just sticks with me when we honored Andy Garcia. And another one was Marc Anthony, when we honored Marc Anthony; those were really great tributes that I remember were just great and the musical - the component of all of those were amazing. And then another one is when Christina Aguilera first came on the scene and she - it was her first, I believe, I don't know, Janet, you can correct me - her first televised appearance was on the ALMA and I think it was Jeanie in a Bottle. And so just kind of looking back and going wow, you know, she was on our stage when she was beginning her career.
Janet: Yeah and you remember Jennifer Lopez received her award for Selena when a lot of people didn't really know who she was at the time. And that really helped to launch her career as well. I mean, there's a lot of great moments with wonderful folks and folks who have been so supportive of the show, I mean, we just had real champions like Edward James Olmos who was around at the first show when not a lot of other people were there for us. And - but last year I thought Antonio Banderas had a special.
George: I liked when Prince came by.
Q) Also on the Internet you two are very influential on the Internet both on Twitter and Facebook. Are there any plans to be live tweeting during the actual ALMA Awards re-broadcast?
Eva: I'm sure George will be making some nonsense.
George: I plan on tweeting - yes, live tweets - tweet with us during the show. Listen Eva gets me to do things - I just was looking at my schedule; I got this and then there's one in Las Vegas. But this is one that I never - I never miss. It is an honor. You know, I snuck in years ago to the ALMA Awards and to think of myself as a multiple host but also to stand side by side with somebody who I love and admire deeply is an honor.