How Latinos are Represented in the Media
In recently released films such as “Black Panther” and “Love Simon”. There´s been a flux of groups that have seen themselves depicted in these films as well as in different media productions. So how is the media showcasing Latinos? (We´ll get to this shortly.)
Various group communities such as the LGBTQ community have been first in line to see themselves represented in such a way. Where the upcoming generation is breaking new barriers. In Movies, TV shows and at times video games we have seen a representation of various ethnic groups. In these media channels, they haven´t always been the most adequate until recently. Most often the roles played are very stereotype-like. So, it´s huge seeing audiences and different ethnic groups showcased in a positive light.
Hooray, but what about Latinos?
Although this is all great and admiring, we are yet to see this same outcome for us Latinos. So why aren´t Latinos being cast in such films or productions?
As a Latino, I’ve noticed a misrepresentation by the media when it comes to the Hispanic (Latino) community. If there’s a Latino role in a movie or TV show, they’re generally characterized in a very stereotypical way. Various media platforms do not always represent Latinos as they should be. While men displayed with macho and ruling personas, women are over-sexualized. If things weren´t bad enough, their roles are generally very small, if there are any roles at all.
A misrepresentation such as this one may bring about scary misjudgment of a whole community. It´s not just about the character anymore is much bigger than that. As seen through the cultivation theory, which says that over a period of time, media will mold how we the audience will perceive our surroundings.
So with Latinos showcased as stereotypical, criminals, immigrants, maids, and lovers, does not look well for us. Which if you think about it, that´s how most view the Latino community now. Luckily over time, Hollywood has opened up to diversity, though it appears as if it’s forgotten all about Latinos.
In 2016, just 3 percent of speaking roles in the top 100 videos were Latinos.
Disney emerged with “Coco,” an animation film which uses a Latino cast to bring a tale of a Mexican boy (Miguel) stuck in the world of the dead. It´s a step in a great direction which made all Latinos proud. We´ll take it! But it’s much easier for us to feel linked to real actors rather than an animation, sorry Miguel.
In most misrepresentation cases of Latinos, Hollywood creates roles usually aimed at Mexican as their go-to ethnic group. While there´s nothing wrong with having Mexican roles in Hollywood. This creates an image that every Latino is Mexican. And all Latinos who are Mexican must be criminals, right? (don´t believe me, check out some real facts about Latinos)
What about children?
For a Latino parent, it´s vital that our children see positive role models in the media. Role models from similar backgrounds and culture as them.
Such things like these would allow children to see similar people succeed, giving them an assurance that success is not impossible. Unfortunately its the total opposite as Latinos are either showcased as the bad guy or not at all. (mentioned above)
One of the few shows that have shed a light on the problem of Latino misrepresentation is the Netflix original series “One Day at a Time.” This show demonstrates issues related to how Latinos are frequently represented, such as stereotypes. This show is about a Cuban American family and the struggles each goes through. Which is something that most Latinos can really relate to.
So what´s your take on this? I would love to hear what the community has to say, please comment below! Please make sure to subscribe to receive these posts directly in your mailbox (Not to worry, we hate spam as much as you do) and be sure to support our blog by picking up any of our cool T-shirts!
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