Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 7:01 a.m.
Latinos, the largest minority in the nation, and the largest racial or ethnic group in California and Los Angeles, are virtually disappearing from the big screen, a new report on Hollywood diversity shows.
The film and television business, which is in the midst of taking more than $1.5 billion in credits from California taxpayers, has essentially made no progress in major-film casting of people of color since 2007, USC’s annual “Inequality in 900 Popular Films” report found. This despite being lambasted by critics in recent years.
The paper’s analysis of the 100 top-grossing films of 2016 found that Latinos captured only 3.1 percent of big-screen roles. That’s the lowest percentage since the study began in 2007, according to the report’s author, USC communications professor Stacy L. Smith. “Latinos are the most underrepresented racial/ethnic group, compared to the population,” she said via email.
“I’m angry about it,” says Alex Nogales, president-CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “I will not stand for it and neither will the Latino community. That means demonstrations across the city and across the nation.”
Last year, the same team of researchers, led by Smith and the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, looked at the 100 top-grossing films of 2015 and found that 5.3 percent of roles were filled by Latinos. For 2014, the figure was 4.9 percent.
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