Robert Rodriguez Describes His Talk With President Obama

TCA 2014: Rodriguez meets with critics after meeting the president

Robert Rodriguez Escape From New York

Robert Rodriguez spoke to the Television Critics Association on Thursday just hours after hosting a fundraiser for President Obama — and shared some, but not all, of what he talked about with the president.

Rodriguez’s El Rey network partly owes its existence to the Obama administration: When the FCC approved Comcast’s acquisition of NBU in 2011, one of the conditions was the creation of new minority-owned networks, including El Rey and Sean Combs‘ Revolt.

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“We updated him on what we’ve been doing with the network,” Rodriguez said. “We talked a lot before about identity and belonging and the need for something like this back when it was in an idea stage and he has to be updated as things went on. We have a lot to show. We’re a new network and in six months we have two big shows that are on the air that have a tremendous Hispanic — in front of and behind the camera — presence. For shows that are for anyone to watch. We really did what we set out to do.”

Rodriguez said that Hispanics represent about 5 percent of broadcast primetime jobs, but at least half the jobs on El Rey’s “From Dusk Til Dawn.”

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“You’re not just checking a box or a requirement. You’re doing something you believe is really important for the country,” Rodriguez said.

He declined to go into his other conversations with the president. The native Texan said he didn’t talk with Obama about Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s recent claim that his administration was either “incredibly inept” or part of a “fairly coordinated effort” to draw immigrants across the U.S. border.

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“I didn’t talk to him about that theory in particular. I can’t really say what we talked about right now,” Rodriguez said.

He did, however, let slip one item on the menu for his fundraiser: Pizza.