FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 1, 2017
New Survey of Films Shows Latinos Grossly Underrepresented, Underscores Need for Studios to Create Opportunities, Says the National Hispanic Media Coalition
Yesterday, the Media, Diversity, & Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism released a study of the on-screen prevalence and portrayal of females, ethnic/racial groups, the LGBT community and individuals with disabilities in 900 films from 2007 to 2016. Only 3.1 percent of speaking characters surveyed in the top 100 films of 2016 were Latino, and more than 54 of the films had no Latino character at all. In 72 of the 100 movies, no Latino women were featured. When compared to the percentage of the U.S. population, Latinos were the most disproportionately represented group surveyed, even though they are 18% of the nation’s population.
“We are outraged that as our country is growing richer in diversity, Hollywood has made little progress in film or television in bringing the people who look like their audience to the big and small screens,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Secretariat of the National Latino Media Council. “Latinos are the most grossly underrepresented groups in both film and TV, at a time when we are the biggest moviegoers in the country and among the most loyal television fans. We deserve and demand to see our faces and hear our stories on-screen.
“TV and film studios must make inclusion a priority and they can start by involving decision makers at the highest levels of their operations. Those individuals must be empowered to make the choices that will provide new pathways and opportunities for talent of color, especially Latinos, behind and in front of the camera. As it is we are left with little choice but to protest in very loud, angry voices our continued exclusion,” Nogales continued. “This is going to be a very long, hot summer.”
Throughout 2016, the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition, including the National Latino Media Council, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC), and American Indians in Film and Television (AIFT) and NAACP Hollywood Bureau, sought commitments from the top six film studios—Walt Disney Studios, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., & Sony Pictures—to include the disclosure of diversity data and explore strategies for increasing those numbers.
To date, no major film studio has agreed to regularly provide data on their released films, regarding inclusion in executive leadership, casting, writing, producing and directing, and no head of studio has engaged in conversations with the coalition about urgently needed improvements.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Receive real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter @NHMC and Instagram @NHMC_org.