I never really considered the importance of being a Latino writer until a few years ago, especially in Hollywood. Many of my professors in grad school were quick to inform me that it would be an asset, many of the potential managers I met with said the same thing.
In my writer's group, we have a fairly diverse mixture of people, something I wanted specifically. There are about eight of us: 5 men, 3 women, 1 African American, 1 Asian, 2 Mexican-Americans, so on and so forth. I like the mix, and race rarely is ever an issue, but I can't help but notice the tendency for most writer's to write towards their own race.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, write what you know and all. Still, I can't help but wonder how things might be a bit different if we put more of an effort into writing more (ethnically) diverse characters - if we made conscious decisions towards this end. The idea isn't to make an issue about it, just inclusion. I'm aware that Hollywood carries much of the blame for various reasons, but how much might that change if writer's made more of an effort to create universal stories.
My life is not an episode of 'Friends'. Hell it ain't even an episode of 'George Lopez', it's more of a mixture and I suppose thats a reflection of my world and the way I was raised. I don't think I've even written a full feature script with a white male as the lead. With the exception of a 'Smallvile' spec I wrote, every script I have written thus far is either Latino, Asian, female or something in between. Race is really only an issue in one (maybe two) of the scripts and done so for the sake of character development.
That's not to say I write 'ethnic' scripts - most of my stuff covers universal ground (the kind of stories I touched upon above), usually within some recognizable genre (sports, action, martial arts, sci-fi, comedy). I enjoy what I write and so do tons of other people and I'm sure the 'film world' will as well. It's just something thats been long kicking around upstairs and feel like I needed to get it down on the page (cyber or otherwise).
I'm stepping off of the soap box... for now.