You’d have to plug your ears to be totally unaware of the many calls for increased diversity that have been sounded in Hollywood over the past few years. Representation has become the name of the game — giving women, minorities, and LGBTQ viewers someone that they can see themselves in onscreen. But this process has mostly played out in the forum of public discourse, explicated in articles or spoken about on daytime television or uncomfortably joked about at the Oscars. After long enough, a person can lose sight of the real-world ramifications of this sea change, and forget about why we’ve collectively resolved to work toward it in the first place.

Then, someone like Tumblr user Perls comes along and reminds the public of what’s really at stake here. The user posted an anecdote about bringing her Mexican-born father to see the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and particularly about her father’s reaction to Mexican actor Diego Luna taking a starring role in the film. Luna tweeted a screencapture of the story from Tumblr with the caption “I got emotional reading this!”

We can’t confirm the veracity of the story, just as we can’t confirm the veracity of Luna’s emotional response. But the sentiment it expresses is very real, that men and women, young and old alike, can feel inspired and excited by wider representation at the movies. To see a fellow Mexican in a massive blockbuster is to be reminded that anyone is capable of heroism, of fame, and of success. It’s not a politicized issue; it’s a matter of pure empathy.

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