November 3, 2023
ICYMI: Disney+’s National Treasure: Edge of History Receives Three Children’s & Family Emmy Award Nominations
Define American is thrilled to celebrate the announcement that Disney+’s groundbreaking National Treasure: Edge of History received three Children’s & Family Emmy Award nominations:
- Supporting Performance in a Preschool, Children’s or Young Teen Program – Catherine Zeta-Jones as Billie Pearce
- Main Title
- Editing for a Single Camera Live Action Program
The series follows Jess Valenzuela, a 20-year-old brilliant and resourceful Dreamer, as she embarks on an adventure of a lifetime to learn more about her family history while recovering a historically lost treasure. Jess is the first lead character in a television series to be protected under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
The Define American team served as a consultant for the entire season of National Treasure: Edge of History, working closely with the creators and writers’ room as a thought partner to help shape Jess’s character, storylines, and how she navigates everyday life under the realities of living in this country as a Dreamer. The organization reviewed scripts, offering narrative suggestions on how Jess could realistically respond to situations and discuss her status as an undocumented American who grew up in the United States. The organization also contributed research on DACA and work permits, and analysis around the southern border and travel limitations.
Jess’s character is a groundbreaking moment in television — for the nearly 600,000 DACA recipients who call the United States home who, for the first time, saw themselves represented on television by a lead character as a Dreamer; and also for the many viewers who may have never met an individual with DACA in their real lives.
“From our research, we know that when audiences connect with nuanced, humanized immigrant characters on screen, it can actually foster understanding of immigrants in real life. Hollywood has the power to unlock that,” said Charlene Joy Jimenez, Director of Entertainment Partnerships & Advocacy at Define American. “National Treasure’s Emmy nominations are well-deserved and underscore the impact of portraying immigrant stories that reflect the complexity and diversity of immigrants in the U.S. today.”
Earlier this year, Define American released the Immigrant Representation Scale, an assessment tool to inform creatives’ approach to character development. The Scale was informed by Change the Narrative, Change the World, original research on immigrant representation on television conducted by Define American and the USC Norman Lear Center, which found that representation of Latine immigrant characters on television has plummeted since 2020, dropping from 50% in 2020 to 34%.
National Treasure: Edge of History is among the more than 125 film and television projects across 23 networks that Define American has consulted on in recent years. The organization continues to work behind the scenes to shape the immigrant characters and storylines in Hollywood.