MEDIA ADVISORY – For Immediate Publication
Sergio Arau and Yareli Arizmendi, the filmmakers of A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN are available to respond to the community complaints to a billboard that was posted Friday April 23 in Hollywood. Apparently responding to the negative reaction of one customer, VIACOM Outdoor decided to take down the billboard which "many found offensive."
The billboard read:
May 14th there will be No
Mexicans in California
This billboard is part of the promotional campaign for the feature film A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN which is being released in Southern California on May 14th by Televisa Cine.
"The message on the billboard is not offensive, it is provocative," explains Arizmendi. It is a bold strategy designed to force the community-at-large to discuss the legitimate question: What would a day in California without Mexicans and all other Latinos be like? Latinos, over one third of the population of the State, actively participate in making California the fifth largest economy in the world; a fact seldom referred to when blaming them for weighing California down with their educational and medical needs.
As Lila Rodriguez, Arizmendi's character in the film says, "How do you make the invisible, visible? You take it away?" Arau, the director of the film, says "The film is a dialogue-opener. By focusing on the contributions of the Latino population and the weight of their absence, we hope to set new terms for negotiating our participation in building the future of California."
VIACOM’s response raises First Amendment right issues. “We’re not seeking a fight, we’re seeking our right to express our opinion and invite others to do the same on a crucial issue for all Californians.