Comedian Cristela Alonzo, best known from her ABC sitcom Cristela, said she was paid less than her white partner on the show and treated unfairly in other ways.
Alonzo, the first Latina to create, produce, write and star in her own primetime comedy, spoke up Sunday. She was commenting on a news story about how easily white actress Lena Dunham sold her own show, HBO’s Girls, before it debuted in 2012.
Alonzo said she wasn’t paid anything for the pilot of her sitcom, which began its 22-episode run in May 2014. She said that once she and her partner sold the show, he received three times the money she did, along with a deal to make other projects. Meanwhile, Alonzo was told she wasn’t ready.
(As The Wrap noted, Alonzo’s writing partner on the show was Kevin Hench. He was reportedly an executive producer on the popular Tim Allen sitcom, Last Man Standing, at the time his deal with 20th Century Fox TV was announced.)
I got paid $0 for my sitcom pilot. When I sold my show, my white partner got 3 x more money then me AND an overall deal. I was 'not ready' to get one. The name of the show was Cristela.— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) June 28, 2020
I also offered to shoot the show in English/Spanish. I wasn't the highest paid person on it. https://t.co/vBCCs82UEl
Alonzo also said she lacked support on the show. She said that she had even been sexually harassed at the network upfronts to promote it.
After someone suggested she call out the offenders, Alonzo pointed out that she’s already done so in her 2019 book, Music to My Years: A Mixtape Memoir of Growing Up and Standing Up. “No one cared,” she added.
I wrote a chapter about them in my book...even talked about the sexual harassment I experienced at the ABC network upfronts from execs at the studio my show was at.— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) June 28, 2020
My book came out in October 2019. No one cared.
Yahoo Entertainment has reached out to ABC and Hench for comment.
Cristela was ultimately canceled after a single season. Alonzo said she found a more welcoming community at Pixar, when she voiced a character in 2017 animated film Cars 3.
Dunham, for her part, shared a few words agreeing that “the Hollywood system is rigged in favor of white people.”
It actually wasn’t a dialogue - it was just me agreeing that the Hollywood system is rigged in favor of white people and that my career took off at a young age with relative ease, ease I wasn’t able to recognize because I also didn’t know what privilege was.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 29, 2020
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