At the Television Critics Association panel for CW’s Charmed, Showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, best known for being the showrunner for Jane The Virgin, confirmed that at least one of the witches featured on the rebooted series is Latina and went one step further when she revealed that the show actually has a Latinx male witch in the writer’s room.
Wanting some clarification on what the sisters (played by Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, and Madeleine Mantock) ethnic background would be, I asked Urman whether all three would be different ethnicities. She replied, “They’re multiracial–the family is. It’s part of the storytelling that we’re going to be getting into.” Following up on why outlets may have jumped to assume all the women were Latinx, Urman stated that, “We cast Melonie first, and then we cast from there. But, the girls do have different fathers, and that’s going to come to play in the storytelling and also in their racial identities.”
Given how connected Latinx culture is to the supernatural and mysticism, I asked if in Diaz’s character’s storyline would we see her explore brujeria, to which Urman said, “Definitely. Yeah.” with Diaz herself chiming in exclaiming, “I cannot wait for that. It’s so cool.”
Executive Producer Amy Rardin then revealed that they actually have a Latino male writer who is a witch. After speaking briefly with Urman after the panel, we learned his name is Marcos Luevanos and he started a coven with his friends where they meet once a week to “do spells and put energy out there towards goals that they wanted to accomplish.” Luevanos is just one of the scribes that are part of their diverse writers’ room.
Spells and the paranormal won’t be the only things the sisters will have to contend with. The show will take place in a college town which Urman believes is “really a cultural melting pot of different ideas, different beliefs, different socioeconomic backgrounds.” She claims it will “give us a space to explore a lot of those themes and a lot of difficulties.”
While Urman herself is not Latina, her work on Jane The Virgin has taught her the importance of representation. “We’ve had the chance to see three white witches. And obviously coming off Jane, I know so much more about what it means to be on screen, to see yourself represented, to see yourself being the hero of the story.”