The showrunner said they relied heavily on lesbian writers Michelle Badillo and Becky Mann to “tell us the experience.”
There’s an episode of One Day at a Time, where a 15-year-old Latina girl comes out to her family, something that had never really happened before. When asked about the intended impact during THR’s Comedy Showrunner Roundtable, Gloria Calderon was “really surprised,” that it was a storyline that hadn’t previously been told.
“We have two lesbian writers [Michelle Badillo and Becky Mann] in the [writer’s] room and they were speaking so much about their lack of representation and how there’s usually a ‘gay’ episode and then everyone moves on.”
Calderon also mentioned that her co-creator, Mike Royce, had a daughter that was coming out and he was the one who wanted to do it right.
Within the Latino community, Calderon pointed out, there are still some “old school thoughts” on the subject matter.
“We have a whole episode where, unknown to the child, the mom is having a tough time with it. She has friends that are gay, she’s totally fine with everyone gay in her life and now that it’s her daughter, she feels weird. ‘Why does it feel weird? What’s wrong with me?’ We got to explore that in a whole episode.”
More roundtables featuring comedy and drama actresses, actors, showrunners and reality creators will continue through July in print and online. Tune in to new episodes of Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter starting June 25 on Sundance TV, and look for clips at THR.com/topic/roundtables with full episodes on THR.com after broadcast.