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Prevalence of Latinx roles in major Hollywood films ‘vastly out of step’ with U.S. population, new study says


Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B arrive at a photo call for "Hustlers" at The Four Seasons on Sunday, August 25, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jordan Strauss/Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The push for more diversity in Hollywood hasn’t been a bonanza for Latinx actors, a new study finds.

The report released Monday looked at the 100 top-grossing films for each year between 2007 and 2018 and found only 4.5% of speaking or named roles went to Latinx actors. Only 3% were lead or co-lead actors.

There was no meaningful change over the last 12 years with 2018 actually showing a drop to 5% from the prior year’s 6% high, the study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found.

The abysmal representation is “vastly out of step” with U.S. demographics considering Latinos comprise 18% of the U.S. population, and 77% of states and territories have a population of Latinos greater than the percentage seen in Hollywood films, the study authors said.

“No matter which part of the film ecosystem we examined, Latinos were vastly underrepresented,” Dr. Stacy Smith, a co-author of the report, said.

“At a time where Latinos in our country are facing intense concerns over their safety, we urgently need to see the Latino community authentically and accurately represented throughout entertainment,” she said.

Representation was just a bad behind the camera, the study found.

A meager 4% of directors across the 1,200 top movies of the last 12 years were Latinx, with only one Latina among them, the new report found.

The majority, a full 71%, were international directors, while 29% were from the U.S.

Meanwhile, only 19 Latinas worked as producers on the flicks.

The new study also determined stereotyping of the Latinx community remains a serious problem.

Roughly a quarter of both top-billed and all Latinx speaking characters across 200 movies were depicted as criminals, and 17% of all Latin-speaking characters were portrayed as poor or with a lower income, the study found.

And while roughly half of the Latinx leads or co-leads were women, five of the 17 leading ladies were played by actress Cameron Diaz, and none placed her within a Latinx community, the study found.

“The Latino community has not been prioritized, and it is imperative that we shed light on the glaring reality of Latino representation in film,” Benjamin Lopez from the National Association of Latino Independent Producers said.