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Hollywood Still Ignoring Hispanics, Latinos? That Can't Be Right!
Pedro Pascal and Oscar Issac can only do so much.
As reported by DEADLINE, a new study from USC’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has found that Hispanic/Latino representation, in front of the camera and behind, has not improved in 16 years.
The study looking at the top films from 2007 to 2022 found more things that are only revealing if you weren’t paying attention.
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And even when the community lands prominent roles, they’re usually stereotyped as immigrants or as having low income.
The initiative’s study, released Monday, examined 1,600 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2022 and more than 62,000 speaking characters. It found that there was not one year during that span that all film distributors released at least one movie with a Latino or Hispanic lead/co-lead.
When Hispanics and Latinos are represented on screen, 24.4% of those earning top billing were depicted as immigrants, with the same percentage shown as low income. More than half (57.8%) were criminals, with nearly half (46.2%) shown as violent criminals. Forty percent were depicted as angry or temperamental, and nearly one-third (31.1%) were sexualized.
This warning and report would also be more shocking if USC Annenberg hadn’t warned about this three years ago.
And if you think those abysmal stats can’t get worse, the study also looks at how race adds even more invisibility for Afro-Latinos, LGBTQ+ and disability representation.
Across 100 top movies of 2022, just one protagonist (Nathalie Emmanuel in The Invitation) was portrayed by an Afro-Latina. From 2007-2022, eight Afro-Latino actors were cast in leading or co-leading roles. That represents less than 1% of all leading/co-leading roles over 16 years. […] Seven Hispanic/Latino characters in 2022 were LGBTQ+-identified, and more than 95% of movies from 2014 to 2022 were missing LGBTQ+ Hispanic/Latino characters. Similarly, only 1.8% of all Hispanic/Latino characters in 2022 were shown with a disability, and 761 of the 800 films studied from 2015 to 2022 did not feature even one Hispanic/Latino with a disability.
2021’s West Side Story Ariana Debose cannot cover all this representation by herself, despite her abundance of talent.
The study by USC Annenberg is a good read on how far Hollywood still has to come to properly represent the very audiences it serves. According to the Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) own 2021 report, Hispanic/Latinos accounted for 29 percent of tickets sold in 2020. Looking at the stats of the top grossing films of 2021, it is shocking that Hollywood ignores such a large part of its audience.
What’s not shocking is that the movie with the most diverse and Hispanic/Latino representation, F9: The Fast Saga, is also the one that is nine percentage points higher than the survey average. “Go woke go broke” is a stupid chant by idiot bigots, and companies actually thrive when they serve those audiences.
Audiences want to see themselves reflected in the art they are presented. As a Puerto Rican, all my life I’ve had to relate to stories and characters who were not us. It just feels better when you can see a movie where the leads represent you like in Spider-Man: Across The Spider Verse.