LARCHMONT VILLAGE (CBSLA) — On Hollywood’s biggest night, finding a party isn’t hard. Getting into the “important” ones can be impossible.
They turned people away Sunday night for the “Roma” viewing party.
KCAL9’s Laurie Perez says the party — held at the Jane club — was also a party with a purpose. The very special guests weren’t movie stars but rather domestic workers from around Los Angeles and the country.
They came to celebrate the movie — and each other.
When they weren’t chanting “Roma! Roma! Roma!” the guests were paying careful attention to the screen. They cheered whenever the film was mentioned and cheered even more when it won three awards.
Celebrating the movie and the director, Alfonso Cuaron, was personal for many of the guests.
The film documents the life of a live-in housekeeper in Mexico City.
No one at the party — hosted by the National Domestic Workers Alliance — was in the movie, but you could say the movie was in them.
“I felt like we were seen in the film, we were there, we, we, were valued,” said Terry Villasenor, a home caregiver.
Villasenor was one of dozens of domestic workers who packed the party and rubbed elbows with a lot of celebrities and A-listers.
The domestic workers walked the red carpet and mingled with Eva Longoria and Rashida Jones among others.
For her part, Villasenor is thrilled to see “Roma” getting such a reaction. It let’s her know domestic workers are finally getting their due.
“Now it’s time for us to shine, that we need to be recognized and value our work,” says Villasenor.
The party’s organizers told Perez that they are seizing on “Roma’s” message to highlight their own — pushing for a federal domestic worker bill of rights.
“A living wage, $15 minimum wage, protections from sexual harassment, and other basic civil rights protections, as well as making sure they have an oversight board so if something goes wrong in their job they have someone they can take that to and get the safety and respect they need,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Party guests chanted “Si se puede! Si se puede!” which means “Yes we can.”
Domestic workers will be seen and heard. And not just in the movies.
“There’s a film on the big screen that is showing the complexity of what’s going on in homes across the world,” said Alicia Garza, director of Strategy and Partnerships for the Alliance.