Phoenix – Latinos are always absent In the great editing rooms, Hollywood movies and other media industries where their image — or lack thereof — can significantly affect how their American peers view them, according to a government report released Tuesday.
The Hispanic Congress in Congress asked the US Government Accountability Office to conduct an investigation last October.
US Representative Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas, has made the inclusion of Latinos in the media a major issue, asking Hollywood studio managers, Press leaders and book publishers to include their views.
Castro says there is no Accurate representation, especially in Hollywood, means at best that Americans do not fully understand Latinos and their contributions. At worst, Castro said – especially when only Latinos are portrayed as drug dealers or criminals – he calls on politicians to exploit negative stereotypes for political gain.
Violence against Latinos, such as killed 23 people in El Paso in 2019 by a gunman who was targeting Hispanics.
“None of this was an effort to tell people exactly what to write, but to encourage media organizations that reflect the face of America. Because then we think the stories will be more accurate, more reflective of the truth, and less stereotyped,” Castro said in an interview with The Associated Press. “The American media, including the print press, has relied on stereotypes of Latinos. If the point is the truth, that certainly hasn’t served the truth.”
The report found that in 2019, the estimated proportion of Latinos working for newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers was about 8%.
An estimated 11% of news analysts, reporters, and reporters were Hispanic, although the Government Accountability Office used data that included Spanish-language networks, where nearly all contributors are Hispanic, and employees in other news sectors, not necessarily news collectors. It can greatly inflate the numbers.
The report also found that the largest growth among Hispanics in the media industry was in service jobs, while management jobs were the least represented.
Anna Christina Ramon has been half of a team that has been collecting data on diversity in Hollywood for a decade, and began publishing annual reports in 2014. Ramon is the Director of Research and Civic Engagement in the UCLA School of Arts and Sciences.
Her research has found that Latinos make up only about 5% to 6% of the main cast members in television and films, despite being about 18% of the US population.
“It’s a bit of a ceiling. It doesn’t get over that percentage,” Ramon said, though she added that television has made much bigger strides in important roles for Latinos than movies.
For years, Hollywood executives have argued that films with diverse threads don’t make money. Ramon found it.
“There’s this idea that Hollywood has that ‘Oh, we can’t do too much variety, it’s going to scare the whites. “Well, that didn’t scare the whites,” Ramon said.
Christina Maislan, associate professor of journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia, wasn’t surprised by the numbers the Government Accountability Office found, and noted that much of the growth in Latinos in media careers stems from the service industry.
“It’s important because the more we represent diverse cultures and peoples, the more opportunities we have for richer and more complex stories,” Meslan said.