Setting the Story Straight: Rewriting the Narrative on Immigrants in Television

Setting the Story Straight: Rewriting the Narrative on Immigrants in Television

About This Event

The Writers Guild Foundation, in partnership with Define American and The Hollywood Reporter, hosts a discussion featuring writers and actors on how immigrants in America are depicted on television. 

Held in conjunction with the launch of a research study from Define American, the Norman Lear Center, The Hollywood Reporter, and the Opportunity Agenda, the panel will explore the nuances of crafting and portraying meaningful immigrant stories for TV as well as how storytellers can make an impact on the audience’s perceptions of immigrants and other marginalized communities.


  • Rafael Agustin (Jane the Virgin
  • Mando Alvarado (Vida, Greenleaf)
  • Christopher Hollier (Roswell, New Mexico, The Originals)
  • Nico Santos (Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians)
Moderated by Rebecca Sun of The Hollywood Reporter

Doors open at 7pm. Event starts at 7:30pm.

All events advertised on our “Events” page are open to anyone who wants to buy a ticket – not just WGA members!

In the case the event is sold out, we will have a first come, first serve stand-by line at the event. The stand-by line does not guarantee entry into the event.

Proceeds benefit Define American and the Foundation’s library, archive and other outreach programs.

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Our Partners

The Writers Guild Foundation

Event to Support The Writers Guild Foundation

Founded in 1966, the Writers Guild Foundation is the premier resource for emerging writers and movie and TV lovers in Hollywood. Boasting a busy calendar of high-value events and a vast, seemingly bottomless toolbox for writers, the Foundation is unmatched in its mission to promote and preserve the craft, history, and voices of screen storytelling.  A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we’re proud of all we do for the community, including our Veterans Writing Project, our Volunteer and Mentorship Programs, our Archive, and the Shavelson-Webb Library – the world’s only library devoted entirely to writing for the screen.


Rafael Agustín is the co-creator and co-writer of the autobiographical play N*gger Wetb*ck Ch*nk, which has received acclaim from the New York TimesLos Angeles Times, and Denver Post, and has won awards for its advancement of social justice in the arts. He is the founding executive director of the Edward James Olmos’ Latino Film Institute Youth Cinema Project. Currently, he and Gina Rodriguez are collaborating on the immigrant-centered series Illegal for the CW, inspired by his life as a former undocumented American.

Follow Rafael on Twitter @MrRafaelAgustin.

Mando Alvarado is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter from Pharr, Tex.  He is currently a Producer/Writer on “Vida” for Starz.  Previously, he was a staff writer on“Greenleaf” for the OWN Network and was also a co-producer for Netflix's “Seven Seconds”.  His play Parachute Men had its world premiere at the Victory Gardens Theater with Teatro Vista.  His play Basilica premiered Off-Broadway at the famous Cherry Lane Theater in NYC. His play Post No Bills received its Off-Broadway premiere at Rattlestick Playwright's Theater.  His new play, Diablo Love, had its world premiere at Central Park's Summer Stages. He also produced A King of Infinite Space, a Hamlet/Pearl Jam mash-up and Sangre, an adaptation of Blood Wedding and co-wrote the book for the bilingual musical A Yellow Brick Road, an adaptation of Wizard of Oz for Theaterworks USA, which received its critically acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere at The Lortel.  His first feature film, Cruzando, which he co-wrote and co-directed with Michael Ray Escamilla, is available on DVD and was distributed by Vanguard Cinema. Alvarado is a member of Rising Phoenix Rep, alum of INTAR’s Hispanic-Playwright-in-Residence Laboratory 2006 – 2008, an alumnus of Company of Angels writer's group, and a graduate of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Nico Santos stars as Mateo on NBC’s hit comedy Superstore. He was born and raised in the Philippines and started doing stand-up in San Francisco,where he became a popular fixture in comedy scene with his acute observations and quirky characters. He has written for E!’s Fashion Police and appeared on Showtime’s Pride Comedy Jam, as well as the series Ground Floor, Mulaney, and 2 Broke Girls. Nico can be seen next as Oliver T’sien in the highly anticipated movie Crazy Rich Asians based on the best selling novel by Kevin Kwan. 

Follow Nico on Twitter @nicosantos.


Rebecca Sun is a senior reporter at The Hollywood Reporter, where she covers the business of entertainment and writes about inclusion and representation in media. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in January 2013, she spent eight years as a writer and editor at Sports Illustrated in New York. A native of the Bay Area, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from NYU and a bachelor’s degree in biology and English from Duke University.