Zöe Saldana believes that there needs to be more Latinos in the entertainment and news industries, and she is trying to do something about it by bringing positive stories about Latinos to the general public.
Latinos are a growing population in the U.S., and currently around fifty-eight million reside here. However major roles and positive news stories about them are rare.
“Mainstream media misrepresents and omits positive role models or figures that are actively bringing change and reshaping their communities,” said Saldana. “They do a good job of being sensational in a way that sells, but not in a way that informs and unites our community. I wanted to find a way to encourage mainstream media to evolve so it can better represent what the American public really looks like today versus eighty years ago.”
So Saldana created a digital news platform, BESE, which launched recently. She wants to spread positive stories of Latinos. This will be aimed at Millennials and Generation Z audiences. (Sorry Boomers!)
What does the term BESE mean? It comes from “to be” and is in both English (be) and in Spanish (se).
“That meant creating a platform that lives in a digital space and operates primarily in social media, where we can showcase stories of American figures – past and present – that have impacted the very fabric of our nation on a local or national scale, based on their contributions to our nation through science, technology, art, culture and identity,” said Saldana. “It’s about inclusivity and telling stories that can inspire people.”
“We want to inspire people to achieve new heights and change perspectives outside the Latino community,” said Daniel Batista, who is the co-founder and president of BESE. Batista developed and launched BESE.
For now, BESE will create high-quality content featuring Latinos, but more is planned down the road. “We’re focusing on the Latinx community right now,” said Saldana, “because it’s the most marginalized, according to its size and growth, but our purpose is also to highlight other multicultural figures in our nation.”
There is already plenty for viewers to see on BESE‘s site, and new episodes appear on Monday and Friday. Have a look here to see the stories, videos, and announcements.