The Disney Channel is becoming a bit more Latino as a new show premiered this week featuring a Latino family in Stuck in the Middle.
Earlier this week, Disney aired a new series which follows Harley Diaz (played by Jenna Ortega) who is quite an engineering wizard who uses her powerful mind to create inventions that will aid her in her daily life while be the middle child in a family of seven kids; thus the show be titled, Stuck in the Middle.
“Harley is a smart, optimistic, determined girl,” said Ortega, 13, describing her brainy character whom she feels a close relationship with since she too comes from a large family of six. “For every Ortega kid, there is a perfect match in the Diaz family, we have the daredevils, the sporty, the cool chill kind of vibe.”
Ortega and her fictional family will be the second show on Disney to feature a Latino family. The first show to accomplish this—with a mixed Latino family—was Wizards of Waverly Place which starred pop sensation Selena Gomez as the show’s main character, Alex Russo, until its end back in 2012.
“I just want to be a good example for young girls out there, I want them to have someone relatable,” said Ortega, describing how her role on the show could be pivotal for other young girls since her character is quite smart and optimistic and will surly inspire others to become interested in their educational pursuits.
Along with the new series, Ortega will continue voicing Isabel in Disney channel’s animated series Elena of Avalor, which follows the adventures of Disney’s first Latina Princess.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Disney princess,” said Ortega, the young actress goes on to describe how playing a Latino princess is more than merely a dream job.
Describing how when she was younger she would ask her mother to dye her hair blond so that she would look like popular Disney Princess Cinderella. “I’m really glad that there is a Hispanic princess now so that little girls like me can find themselves relating to a Disney princess,” Ortega added.
The introduction of Ortega as Harley Diaz is another step forward for Latino representation in Hollywood. So far, Ortega is following in the footsteps of Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez who in her own right has become an inspiration for Latino youth.