Darien Rosa says visiting Puerto Rico for the first time was like a dream. “Nothing has ever made me feel so connected to my family and people,” he says. Rosa is a proud Afro-Latino. His Blackness and Latinidad are inextricably intertwined—and that colors his experience in the workplace.
Rosa is a rising creative executive at 20th Television, a Walt Disney Company where he partners with writers and producers to bring their words and ideas to the small screen. Rosa reviews material and provides feedback to help execute a creative vision while satisfying the needs of his network or platform.
He functions as a creative problem-solver but knows that others often make “a thousand assumptions” about him before he even speaks. “Folks may think that I am unintelligent or aggressive. I am neither,” he says.
Instead of wasting his time trying to disprove assumptions, Rosa focuses on making hit shows like Abbott Elementary, The Chi, and others the best they can be. He’s currently working on an upcoming limited series about Sammy Davis Jr. Rosa previously worked at Lifetime, where he pitched and produced an idea for the spinoff Married at First Sight: Honeymoon Island. At Disney, he created a learning and development program designed to give employees the creative and analytical skills necessary to take on more creative roles.
A dream of Rosa’s is to create a scholarship for queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) interested in the arts. “There’s a lack of education when it comes to entertainment careers,” he explains. “They are seen as ‘impractical.’ We’re taught to pursue ‘stable’ jobs. To counteract that, I want my LGBTQ+ siblings to have the knowledge and resources they need to achieve what our ancestors could only hope for.”
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