‘9-1-1’ Star Ryan Guzman Opened Up on His Heritage, Show’s Focus on ‘Inclusion’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Ryan Guzman joined the cast of 9-1-1 in its second season. He’s the handsome Eddie Diaz, the war hero turned firefighter who also is a single dad.

And when Guzman joined the series, he applauded the Fox show because the cast reflected what the United States looks like. Guzman is a Texan whose dad is an immigrant from Mexico. His mother is from California. Guzman’s Eddie is written the same way. On 9-1-1, he’s also from Texas, with an Hispanic father and white mother.

“Yeah, race to me has always been a hot-button issue,” the 9-1-1 star told Anthem Magazine in 2019. “But not for the fact that it affects me so bad—it usually affects everybody else. You never know how other people are going to react to the race stuff.

“I’m so proud of my Mexican heritage and how I’ve become who I’ve become, and the fact that Mexicans are a diverse people. It’s not just the stereotypes that everybody’s used to with the mustache and the brown skin. You go to Mexico and you see guys with red hair and light skin, and guys that look whiter than actual white guys in America. So I love the fact that they hired me for that simple fact in speaking about race and how they’re breaking down these stereotypes.”

Then Guzman pointed out some of the other 9-1-1 characters.

“We also have Aisha Hinds playing a lesbian, black firefighter (Hen) and see her struggles, alongside Kenny Choi’s Korean-American character (Chimney) coming into a white, male dominated job,” Guzman said. “We all kind of add the flavors to this show that I think America and everybody else watching need, you know? It’s not about highlighting these things so that you feel so much for these people—it’s more so about inclusion. We really want to make them a part of these stories.”

9-1-1 has its Christmas episode tonight in Wrapped in Red. And Guzman’s character plays a prominent role in the plot. According to Fox, this is the summary for the episode: “The members of the 118 are called to a series of emergencies around Christmas Eve. Then, Eddie struggles with an emotional Christopher.”

Christopher is Eddie’s son. He has cerebral palsy. And Eddie is raising Christopher as a single dad. Shannon, Eddie’s wife, died in an accident. And Christopher, who now is about 10, probably is missing his mother, especially at Christmas.

9-1-1 fans probably will be bummed to learn that Monday’s episode is the final one for 2021. In fact, Fox hasn’t listed the date for when the show returns. The show’s spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star, debuts season three, Jan. 3. The shows usually run back-to-back, but Fox let 9-1-1 have the fall by itself, with The Big Leap coming on in the hour after the rescue show.

Starting Jan. 3, Fox has new drama The Cleaning Lady after 9-1-1: Lone Star. The site says the two 9-1-1 shows probably will reunite in March.