Zoe Saldana wants to amplify Latino voices with a new digital media company.
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star is launching a new brand, BeSe, according to an exclusive report by The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday. The company, whose name originates from the Spanish and English verb for “to be,” will focus on content targeting millennials and Gen Z Latinos. BeSe will debut by the end of 2017.
“Latinos are a growing community in America, but Latino stories have remained historically marginalized,” Saldana, who will be the founder and CEO of the company, told THR. “I’m so excited to be leading BeSe, a truly uplifting brand that fills a niche for young audiences craving positive portrayals of the modern Latino experience in America.”
Saldana has been a strong proponent of Latino-focused storytelling for years. In 2013, the actress and her sisters’ production company, Cinestar Productions, signed a first-look deal with Lionsgate’s Pantelion studio to develop television and film content for Hispanic audiences.
Saldana has also been unapologetic about the importance of embracing Latinos and their stories. During a conversation with Latina magazine in 2015, the star addressed anti-immigrant sentiment and the rise of Latinos in the U.S., which today make up over 17 percent of the population.
“You can’t kill us. You can’t send us back. We are millions and millions here because it is our time to migrate,” Saldana told the magazine, in reference to those who have a negative view of Latinos and immigrants. “We are the youngest culture. We are doing what your people did. So shut up and just deal with it. Adjust your laws, because it’s not going away. If anything, I want to give them a hug, and say, ‘It’s okay. It’s new. Don’t be scared. We’re great people. We’re gonna do great and better things for your country. Trust me.’ We’re not angry either. We’re a culture that isn’t angry.”