Gloria Estefan on Why It's More Important Than Ever for 'Latinos to Show Their Power' (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Gloria, Lili and Emily Estefan are ready to inspire change. The icon joins forces with her Emmy award-winning niece Lili Estefan and her rising musician daughter Emily Estefan for their new show, Red Table Talk: The Estefans. In it, the ladies tackle difficult issues like relationships, sexuality, mental health and more.
One subject the stars decided was off-limits was politics, they told ET -- but were quick to note what's happening in the United States right now isn't about that. "This is life," Gloria declared.
With topics like police reform and immigration at the forefront of this year's election, the GRAMMY winner said particularly this year, "it is important for Latinos to show their power at the ballot." "Whoever you vote for, it doesn't matter," she said. "[This is a] future warning to whoever gets into power that we are a community to be reckoned with, and that we have political and economical power."
"In the last election, 46% of people didn't vote -- a lot of them very young -- so it think it’s crucial that anyone who has a voice at least try to remind people to vote," Gloria shared, encouraging fans to check their registration status and make a plan to head to the polls or vote by mail. "That is our responsibility, particularly in this election, to make sure that our vote is counted."
Lili noted how she's spoken to voters throughout her decades as a host for Univision, and seen how the Latinx community has started to pay more attention to the voting system. "We feel more important and included, but still we have to keep pushing," she insisted.
Emily, 25, said that her generation often benefits from parents who "sacrificed so much for us to be comfortable." Now, it's time to be uncomfortable. "If you are old enough to recognize the change that you can make... that is the power. That one vote and one opinion is what ends up forming this ocean," she expressed.
Pushing themselves out of their comfort zones has become common for the Estefans while filming their edition of Red Table Talk. Things get raw and real from the very first episode, which dives into Lili's divorce from Lorenzo Lauces. The pair split in 2018 after 25 years of marriage, and Lili hasn't spoken about their breakup in depth publicly.
"I was not ready to talk about it before," Lili explained, sharing that it was still really "very hard" to dive into the details of her split and how it affected her family.
"I was totally blinded. I thought I had I had a perfect family, a very solid relationship, and I didn't. It exploded in front of me, and I was left behind in the middle of a scandal that involved everyone from my family to co-workers," she shared. "It was really hard to keep going."
Gloria pointed out that Lili's fans "had a lot of questions about what happened" between her and Lorenzo, and they wanted to send the message to viewers in the first episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans that they were going to get "really honest." "We chose it for the reason that it was so personal," Gloria explained.
The show will also get personal with Emily, as she opens up about coming out and the difficulties of doing so in the era of social media and homophobia within the Latinx community.
"It's obviously something that is very difficult for anybody, in the Latino community, in any community," Emily said, noting that experts and guests like Rosie O'Donnell and Michelle Rodriguez will also appear on the series to share their experiences.
In preparation for this topic and others, the Estefans went to therapy. They know it's not a luxury all viewers have, but they hope sharing that fact helps to fight the stigma surrounding mental health.
"We are hoping that will inspire people to say, 'Let's have our own Red Table Talk tonight at dinner. Is there something you want to talk about? Because you are safe here,'" Emily said. "It's creating that safe space for everybody."
Gloria, Lili and Emily's safe space has always been with each other. "Female relationships are crucial to women, especially as life goes on," Gloria shared.
"And especially as lesbians," Emily joked.
"Well, that is beyond friendship. That is a whole other can of worms for you," Gloria playfully quipped. "Women are complicated -- way more complicated than men."
Lili credited her female friends for helping her get through her divorce. So, having a show like Red Table Talk that empowers women and inspires them to support each other was important for her, Gloria and Emily.
"It's a great dynamic and it’s been wonderful," Gloria gushed. "I am very excited."