Latino Representation in Film is Still in the Trenches, USC Annenberg Present New Study with NALIP

"Miss Bala"

The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, in partnership with The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), have presented a new study with collected data from 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018. The study found glaring results that may be more dire than one would imagine. The mainstream film industry still come to regard the Latino background to nothing more than heavy stereotypes and archetypes of character and culture, fetishizing the negative and even presenting it in skewered perspective.

The study also found Latinos to rarely helm positions of technical background and further creative roles behind the camera like directors, executive producers and casting directors. Less prioritization is given to women of color in general, but the USC study also finds that rings truer than ever for Latina characters and the roles they play.

NALIP are a nationally known non-profit association that continue to emphasize on the importance of Latinx content creators and the need for more inclusion across all media. Read more on the full report at their website.

Read from the press release below.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Dr. Stacy L. Smith and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative have released a study probing an extensive analysis of Latinos in film in partnership with The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and Wise Entertainment.

The study examines the state of Latino representation across 1,200 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2018 and Latinos working behind the camera as directors, producers, and casting directors. An additional qualitative analysis explored stereotyping of Latino actors and characteristics across 200 top films from 2017 and 2018, revealing the following:

● Top films and the entertainment industry, in general, fall behind population averages when it comes to the representation and inclusion of Latino characters and Latinos behind the camera.

● Solutions for change and hopes that creating a formidable pipeline for Latino filmmakers will urge companies to hire Latino talent for roles within various forms of storytelling.

● There was no meaningful change in Latino representation in film over the time period examined.

● Latinos are rare in positions behind the camera, such as directors, producers, and casting directors.

● Stereotyping of the Latino community remains common in film.

● Latinas are particularly underrepresented in film, with the majority of top-grossing films missing Latina characters altogether.

● Representations of LGBT and/or disabled Latinos were almost nonexistent in the films examined.

“The Latino community has not been prioritized, and it is imperative that we shed light on the glaring reality of Latino representation in film,” said Benjamin Lopez, Executive Director of NALIP. “NALIP has positioned itself to be the elegant solution to this complex problem through our commitment to building the pipeline of Latino talent and sustainable development in the industry. Dr. Smith’s researchmust guide decision-makers to the conclusion that there is immense value in collaborating with and investing in the Latino community.”

With several year-round programs, NALIP serves the needs of diverse content creators including, producers, performers, writers, directors, and industry professionals with the tools and mentorship they need to advance in their careers within the entertainment industry.

What do you think of these research results found in the study of Latino representation across top-grossing studio films? Comment below!

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