Media Portrayals of Hispanics Skewed

Hispanics are the largest, fastest-growing minority group in the U.S., with a current population of around 55 million, representing over 17% of the total. U.S. Hispanic spending power is climbing fast, now closing in on $1.5 trillion. As such, marketers and media companies are focusing more on this promising target audience.
Yet portrayals of Hispanics in American mainstream media remain narrow, stereotyped and simplistic, and Hispanic participation in other aspects of the media business remains low, according to a new report on “The Latino Media Gap” commissioned by Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers.
The report noted that Latino characters in movies and TV shows still tend to be depicted as “criminals, law enforcers, cheap labor and hypersexualized beings.”

For example, in 2012-2013, 24.2% of Hispanic TV characters were linked to crime, up from just 6% in 1994. By the same token, 36.6% of Hispanic TV characters have been involved in law enforcement over the same period -- and since 1996, a remarkable 69% of maids in TV and films have been played by Latinas.
To the degree that Latinos hold leading or supporting roles in films and TV shows, there is a strong gender bias, as Latina women have largely eclipsed Latino men. Latinas accounted for 4.6% of all female lead actors in films from 2000-2013. During this time not a single Latino male held a lead role. Also, Latinas made up 9.6% of supporting actress roles, while Latino males made up less than 3%.
Behind the scenes, Latinos made up just 1.1% of producers for the top 10 TV shows, 2% of writers and 4.1% of directors. The numbers for the top 10 movies were 2.2%, and 6%, and 2.3%, respectively. There are no Latino heads of studios, network presidents, CEOs, or owners.

Turning to news, just 1.8% of news producers are Latinos, which may help explain why stories about Latinos make up less than 1% of news media coverage.



1 comment about "Media Portrayals of Hispanics Skewed".
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  1. Mai Kok from So What, June 23, 2014 at 5:36 p.m.

    File under NO SHIT SHERLOCK.

    Minorities are ALL stereotyped by the "oh so liberal and tolerant" liberal media and Hollywood.

    You fawn over Obama but 6 years into his presidency liberal media and hollywood have done NOTHING to liberalize the myopic and racist stereotypes of black men, hispanic men, Asian men, etc. Acting and even casting opportunities for said such men are few and staring roles are even fewer.

    Don't be surprised when they don't respond to your advertising. I mean really - their money is good enough for you to take but THEY aren't good enough to be part of your non-racist, non-stereotype imagery?

    Believe - minorities are better savers and spenders than your majority demographic. And they aren't so quick to forget.

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