Robert Rodriguez: "The Future of Hispanic TV is in English Programming"

Robert Rodriguez at the Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For Hollywood premiere
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Robert Rodriguez is working his magic on English-speaking Latino audiences with his new network, El Rey.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 46-year-old Sin City director revealed what made him decide to launch a TV network.

"John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa at FactoryMade told me, 'There's an opportunity for a TV network. Comcast is giving them away.' So I came up with the concept for El Rey," Rodriguez explained.

"People have always asked me, 'How do we get to Latinos' wallets?' Well, you've got to get them here (touches his heart). You have to give them characters to fall in love with. It was never just about 'putting Latinos in more shows.' There were no Latin actors in Hollywood when I started."

"I discovered Salma Hayek in Mexico, brought Antonio Banderas from Spain and found Danny Trejo. I had to get Cheech [Marin] out of retirement! But television is the next frontier," the Mexican-American network owner continued.

"My kids speak English, but they don't see themselves represented on TV. I told this to President Obama about attracting more Latino voters: What disenfranchises people is not having a sense of belonging. We are 18 percent Hispanic in the U.S., but on TV, we represent only 5 percent of major roles. Behind the camera, it's like 2 percent — and I'm one of those percentages!"

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