Latinos watch a lot of movies and shows, but see little of themselves
The Future. Despite making up over 18% of the US population, Latino representation across movies and TV is incredibly low. In all the talk about diverse representation, the erasure of Latinos is not only a cultural blindspot but a potentially bad business decision.
Looking for likeness
Axios reports how Latino representation has been nearly non-existent in Hollywood productions despite being one of its largest audiences.
- 38% of Latino households have a cable or satellite TV subscription and subscribe to major streaming services, compared to only 29% of the overall US population.
- Yet, less than 5% of starring roles in films and 2.9% in TV go to Latinos.
And when Latino-led projects are made, they seem to have a more challenging time getting renewed (One Day at a Time, Gordita Chronicles) or just get canned altogether (Batgirl, which starred Leslie Grace in the title role).
Part of the issue is that there’s just as little Latino representation behind the camera.
- According to a 2020 Writers Guild of America report, only 4.7% of writers are Latino.
- The National Hispanic Media Coalition anecdotally found that there are very few Latino execs at studios that have greenlight power.
Unfortunately, none of these insights are truly new. THR wrote back in 2012 how integral Latino audiences were to box office success, with then-MPAA chairman Chris Dodd telling Hollywood they needed to “better serve” Latino audiences since they went to the movies more often than any other group.