LATINO VOICES

Latino Artist Reimagines Classic TV Shows To Include Diverse Casts

Putting the "color" in color television.

Julio Salgado admits he doesn't know a lot about “Star Wars,” but when people threatened to boycott the movie because the latest iteration features a black protagonist, the Berkeley-based visual artist and self-identified "undocuqueer" immigrant rights activist felt he had to strike back. And that he did.

Salgado debuted a series of illustrations reimagining several popular sitcoms with casts of color Tuesday. "It's a  f**k you of sorts" Salgado explained in an email to The Huffington Post, adding that the series is directed at individuals who get riled up when people of color are featured in remakes of films and television shows with predominantly white original casts, but say nothing when characters of color are played by white actors. “My thought was like: you wanna be mad, I'll give you something to get mad at.”

Mexico-born, California-raised Salgado's version of "Sex and the City" would feature a cast that reflects the diversity present in New York. The cast of "Golden Girls" would be strong women of color who care more about social justice than they do about cheesecake and men. And Danny Tanner's "Full House" would include an undocumented teen daughter and queer brother in-law. 

Salgado says his illustrations are meant to give people of color an opportunity to see themselves represented in some of their favorite television shows and films -- a rare experience even in this day and age.

Latinos make up 17 percent of the U.S. population and purchase 32 percent of movie tickets sold domestically, however they have only 4.9 percent of speaking roles in movies produced in the U.S. This disparity is present in television programming as well, which Salgado hopes to shed light on with his illustrations. “Maybe some of these will be re-made with us in them,” Salgado said of his illustrations in a Facebook post address to fans. Hear that, Netflix? 

So far, the response to Salgado’s work has been positive -- for the most part. “A lot of folks are reminding me that there have been many shows with POC leads,” Salgado tells HuffPost. “These images in no way try to take away the amazingness of these shows. But for every POC lead show that was ‘given the opportunity’ to succeed, a bunch of more of white-lead shows were allowed to fail.”

Take a look at some of Salgado’s illustrations below, complete with revamped synopses for each show, and let us know what shows you would like to given a second chance to shine, this time with a new, diverse cast. 

For more of Julio Salgado's work, visit his website. 

  • "My version of 'Friends' is set in Oakland. They are mostly college students of color that met at a multicultural center. You
    Julio Salgado
    "My version of 'Friends' is set in Oakland. They are mostly college students of color that met at a multicultural center. You'll see them at protests and rolling deep at First Fridays rolling their eyes at white people taking up too much space."
  • "This 'Roseanne' is made up of a Mexican family living in Huntington Park."
    Julio Salgado
    "This 'Roseanne' is made up of a Mexican family living in Huntington Park."
  • "My version of 'Gilmore Girls' is based on my mom and sister. When we first moved to the U.S. and my sister became really ill
    Julio Salgado
    "My version of 'Gilmore Girls' is based on my mom and sister. When we first moved to the U.S. and my sister became really ill, my mom gave her one of her kidneys. That's a bond that they will cherish for their rest of their lives."
  • "These are the 'Sex and the City' girls I'd be friends with!"
    Julio Salgado
    "These are the 'Sex and the City' girls I'd be friends with!"
  • "Grace is a Korean-American fashion designer living in San Francisco with her best friend Will, a black gay immigration lawye
    Julio Salgado
    "Grace is a Korean-American fashion designer living in San Francisco with her best friend Will, a black gay immigration lawyer."
  • "This version of 'Golden Girls' is all about social justice and it stars Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Angela Davis, Dolores Huer
    Julio Salgado
    "This version of 'Golden Girls' is all about social justice and it stars Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Angela Davis, Dolores Huerta and Grace Lee Boggs...may she rest in power."
  • "This 'Full House' is a Filipino family and it's set in Daly City. The oldest daughter is undocumented and the youngest two w
    Julio Salgado
    "This 'Full House' is a Filipino family and it's set in Daly City. The oldest daughter is undocumented and the youngest two were born in the U.S. Also, uncle Jesse is queer."
  • "Xena and Gabrielle are two Native women who must face off white colonizers."
    Julio Salgado
    "Xena and Gabrielle are two Native women who must face off white colonizers."
  • "Jordan and Angela are two young Muslim teenagers who must deal with love and Islamophobia in the U.S. Wilson Cruz comes back
    Julio Salgado
    "Jordan and Angela are two young Muslim teenagers who must deal with love and Islamophobia in the U.S. Wilson Cruz comes back as Rickie."

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