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Latino Representation in Television, Film Return to 2019 Levels, Study Finds – The Hollywood Reporter


Latino representation in television and film has fallen to 2019 levels, according to a new diversity report from Latino Donor Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that researches the Latino community in the United States.

According to its 2022 report, the percentage of Latino stars, co-stars, directors, and directors all declined from 2021 to 2022. Last year saw 2.6 percent of Latino leads on television, down from 2.9 percent the year before; 2.6 percent of joint leaders in 2022 versus 3.7 percent in 2021; 1.4 percent of exhibitors last year, as opposed to 2.5 percent the previous year; And 1.5 percent of Latino directors, compared to 2.5 percent in 2021.

Film projects also saw a decline in Latino representation, including stars, screenwriters, and directors between 2021 and 2022. Latino stars made up 5.1 percent of films in 2022, down more than 2 percent from the previous year. However, when it came to co-stars, there was a slight increase, with Latinos leading 4.5% of co-leading teams, as opposed to 4.3% in 2021. Latino screenwriters and directors made up 6.9% of those in the industry, both of which fell below 3 percent in 2022.

The LDC report drew attention to the premium broadcast and cable networks that had no Latino customers across their several programming in 2022: HGTV, Discovery, TLC and HBO. Netflix had two Latin leads in its 124 series, while AppleTV+ had just one of its 44 shows.

In a few of the case studies featured in the report, season 23 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit were randomly assigned to analyze inaccurate characterization of Latino Americans in mainstream media. He has pointed out three ways in which the community is inaccurately represented in the series: Latino people make up 30 percent of the New York Police Department, but there is only one Latino officer as a participant in the series; The co-leader has a backstory about growing up in a violent home and being forced to work briefly for the Mexican Cartel as a child; Many of the Latino characters in the show have been portrayed as criminals or victims of violent crime.

The report also looked at a case study of films, especially futuristic films. The organization looked at 10 futuristic-themed films released between 2014 and 2023, none of which featured a Latino star, co-star, director or screenwriter. I studied the organization Interstellar, Ready Player One, Infinite, Lightyear, The Tomorrow War, Dual, Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood, California Monsters, After Yang And Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

The Latino population is the largest minority in the United States, according to the report, making up 19% of Americans, yet they are the least represented group in the media. Latino stars account for just 9.29 percent of the screen representation in broadcast, 2.33 percent on cable and 5.42 percent in broadcast.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.