Edward James Olmos: We Need an Open Internet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2014

CONTACT: Brian Pacheco, NHMC bpacheco@nhmc.org (213) 718-0732
Legendary Actor Stars in New NHMC Video Urging the FCC to Protect Internet Freedom
PASADENA, Calif. – The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), the leading media advocacy and civil rights organization for the benefit and advancement of Latinos, today released a video featuring legendary actor and filmmaker Edward James Olmos speaking out for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action to restore an open Internet. The video is the latest action in NHMC’s campaign to preserve an open Internet following a January federal appeals court decision that struck down open internet rules–opening the door for Internet service providers to block and slow down traffic to websites and other online content.

Video and more information about the open internet and NHMC’s campaign are available here: www.nhmc.org/openinternet.

In the spot, Olmos, best known for his roles as Commander William Adama in Battlestar Galactica, Lieutenant Martin Castro in Miami Vice, Gaff in Bladerunner, and Jaime Escalante in Stand and Deliver, highlights the importance of Internet freedom: “Many of the non-profit organizations that I support use the internet to organize for social and economic justice. Bloggers earn a living and tell their stories. Small business owners sell their goods and services to larger markets. Creative people showcase their content to new audiences. Imagine if one day you were restricted from using your favorite websites and applications. In fact, a recent court decision jeopardizes the freedom we have all come to enjoy on the internet.”

Olmos adds that “Hope is not lost – the court left the door open for the Federal Communications Commission to right this wrong.” He concludes the spot calling viewers to take action, saying, “Please join me and the National Hispanic Media Coalition in calling on the FCC’s Chairman, Tom Wheeler, to reassert the FCC’s authority over internet service providers and develop new rules to protect internet freedom and prevent online censorship and discrimination. Go to www.nhmc.org/openinternet to sign the petition to the FCC.”

“Eddie has always been an unwavering champion for our community. I wasn’t at all surprised by his interest in this issue and his immediate recognition of the impact that the loss of ‘network neutrality’ rules would have on Latinos and all of us that rely on the Internet,” said NHMC President & CEO Alex Nogales. “In fact, his long history of advocacy on a number of important issues is precisely why he is so deserving of NHMC honoring him at this year’s NHMC Impact Awards Gala with the Lupe Ontiveros Indomitable Spirit Award,” he added.

The collaboration is the latest effort by NHMC to preserve an open Internet in the wake of a court decision that struck down open internet rules.

In January, NHMC joined Presente.org and other allies to deliver more than one million petition signatures to the FCC, all urging the FCC to firmly assert the authority recognized by the court and change the way that it classifies broadband services so that it can reinstitute strong open Internet rules. As NHMC has previously noted, the positive impacts of FCC “reclassification” would reach far beyond network neutrality. It would vest the FCC with clear authority to close the digital divide by enacting policies to connect the 100 million Americans who currently do not have home broadband, many of whom Latino.

For an explanation of the court’s ruling and its impact on the Latino community, read NHMC Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jessica J. González’s piece on the subject.
Watch Video: SOURCE
For more information on network neutrality, visit: www.nhmc.org/openinternet.

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About NHMC
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is a non-partisan, non-profit, media advocacy and civil rights organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to educate and influence media corporations on the importance of including U.S. Latinos at all levels of employment. It augments the pool of Latino talent with its professional development programs. It challenges media that carelessly exploit negative Latino stereotypes. It scrutinizes and opines on media and telecommunications policy issues. Learn more at www.nhmc.org. Receive real-time updates on Facebook and Twitter @NHMC.