Town Square

Latinos Still Fight The Same Barriers For Authentic Representation

Stereotypes of Latinos created a century ago still paint how entertainment media depicts Latinos today. While smaller publishing houses are avenues for Latino creatives, major film and book publishers still hold up walls.

Donald Tong/Pixalbay

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The Latino population makes about 18 percent of the United States with over 60 million Latino residents throughout the country.

However, our screens and books paint a different picture.

UCLA’s 2021 Hollywood Diversity Report found that Latinos actors, directors, and scriptwriters make up just under 6% in Hollywood.

And print media is not seeing much a higher rate in representation either. University of Wisconsin-Madison's survey into children's literature found that Latino characters published were at 6% as well.

Today, experts in the arts discuss Latino representation in the media, their impact on stereotypes, and our perception of their roles in the U.S.

What has the oldest, and largest, non-profit publisher of Hispanic literature in the United States seen throughout its run? And how are Latinos breaking barriers on and off the page?

Some recommendations by our guests include:

 

  • Arte Público Press, founded by director Dr. Nicolas Kanellos, publishes an estimated 20-30 books per year with an average of four movie licenses.
    Arte Público Press, founded by director Dr. Nicolas Kanellos, publishes an estimated 20-30 books per year with an average of four movie licenses.
  • Dr. Raquel Ortiz's book When Julia Danced Bomba, explores dance, overcoming shyness, and accepting praise.
    Dr. Raquel Ortiz's book When Julia Danced Bomba, explores dance, overcoming shyness, and accepting praise.
  • Robert Rodriguez's movies are a favorite of media expert, Charles Ramirez Berg. The director's characters, such as Machete and Spy Kid's Lava Girl, highlight Latino actors as heroic action stars.
    Robert Rodriguez's movies are a favorite of media expert, Charles Ramirez Berg. The director's characters, such as Machete and Spy Kid's Lava Girl, highlight Latino actors as heroic action stars.
  • Terry Blas's first published cover for Marvel's Reptil. The comic follows superhero Humberto Lopez, an aspiring Avenger.
    Terry Blas's first published cover for Marvel's Reptil. The comic follows superhero Humberto Lopez, an aspiring Avenger.
  • Listener Martina called in to share her favorite Latinx comic book, Love and Rockets by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez.
    Listener Martina called in to share her favorite Latinx comic book, Love and Rockets by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez.
  • La Borinqueña by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is a favorite of anthropologist Dr. Raquel Ortiz.
    La Borinqueña by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez is a favorite of anthropologist Dr. Raquel Ortiz.

Guests:

Dr. Nicolás Kanellos

  • Founder and director of Arte Público Press
  • Brown Foundation Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston

Charles Ramírez Berg

Dr. Raquel Ortiz

Terry Blas

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