Study Reveals Hispanic and Latino Underrepresentation in Films

A new study published by the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative reveals that Latino and Hispanic Americans are underrepresented in top-grossing films.

  • The study revealed that lead Hispanic and Latino characters were negatively portrayed.
    The study revealed that lead Hispanic and Latino characters were negatively portrayed.

Latino and Hispanic Americans are underrepresented in popular films, revealed a study published by the University of Southern California's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Published on the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, the study looked into leading Hispanic and Latino actors, directors, and producers in 1,300 top-grossing films from 2007 to 2019.

The results showed that while Hispanic and Latino Americans have the highest appearances in theater, they're rarely represented in lead roles in popular films.

In numbers, only 7% of popular films in 2019 featured lead Hispanic or Latino actors. As for directors, the results showed that 4.2% of film directors were Hispanic or Latino, compared to 3% for the producers. 

“This community represents nearly 20% of the U.S. population and nearly half of Los Angeles residents and yet remains almost invisible on-screen,” expressed Ariana Case, the study’s lead author. 

In addition, the study revealed that lead Hispanic and Latino characters were negatively portrayed, as more than one-third of these characters played criminal roles in 2019's top-grossing films.