Report claims that Latinos are becoming Extinct in Hollywood
According to USC’s annual “Inequality in 900 Popular Films” report, Latinos, the largest minority in the nation, and the largest racial or ethnic group in California and Los Angeles, are virtually disappearing from the big screen. The report claims that the film and television business, which is in the midst of taking more than $1.5 billion in credits from California taxpayers, has essentially made no progress in major-film casting of people of color since 2007. The paper’s analysis of the 100 top-grossing films of 2016 found that Latinos captured only 3.1 percent of big-screen roles. According to the report’s author, USC communications professor Stacy L. Smith,
Latinos are the most underrepresented racial/ethnic group, compared to the population. These are sustained and systemic problems. It is impossible to look at this data without concluding that much of the advocacy surrounding on-screen representation over the past few years has not been successful.
Last year, the same team of researchers, led by Smith and the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, looked at the 100 top-grossing films of 2014 and found that 4.9 percent of roles were filled by Latinos. For 2015, the figure was 5.2 percent. The study found that more 2016 films, a majority of the 100 analyzed, lacked a single Latino actor than lacked a face from any other ethnic group. According to the report, “A total of 54 films were completely missing Latino speaking characters, which is 14 higher than in 2015.” April Reign, the former attorney who started the #OscarsSoWhite campaign on Twitter in 2015, says Hollywood is ignoring multiple studies that show films with diverse casts tend to make more cash at the box office. It is certainly important to have diversity when it comes to several things and having more diversity in films and television is definitely needed.