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Latinos Are The Least Represented Group In Hollywood

A recent study conducted by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School found that Latinos are the least represented group in Hollywood movies. A scant 4.9% of actors in major Hollywood films are Latino as compared to 74% being White. This is also in spite of the fact that Latinos buy 25% of all movie tickets. Marc Choueiti, one of the authors of the study points out,

“Hispanics and Latinos are one of the fastest-growing groups in the U.S. If popular films were the only way to gauge diversity, viewers would be completely unaware of this. Individuals from this group are almost invisible on screen.”

It’s not really a surprise. As someone who has worked in the film and television industry for many years I can tell you that it’s no accident that there aren’t more Latinos on screen. Let’s say you are working on a commercial, like I often do. The default for people in the commercial is White. Also, when they say they want “regular people” they, (the clients), also mean White. If they say they want diversity that means to add one token African-American. If a Latino is used they have to be the right “type” of Latino. For example, I have been told I don’t look “Latino enough” because of my light skin. I have seen people from India or the Middle East get cast as Latinos over real Latinos that don’t “look right”

The reality is that this kind of thing is going to continue as long as Latinos aren’t the people calling the shots behind the camera. I can count on one hand the Latinos in Hollywood that have any real clout. So, for now, our movie screens are going to continue to be lily white.


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