Culture

Once Again, A Study Shows Latinos Continue To Lack Representation In Hollywood

Representation is a loaded word when it comes to conversations about diversity in casting, especially when it comes Latinos. The latest study from UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report 2018″, shows the huge disparity Latinos experience when it comes to roles behind and in front of the camera. What makes matters even more frustrating is the reports evidence shows audiences tend to prefer movies and TV shows that feature diverse casts. So what gives and what has to change? Here’s a look at the evidence on why Latinos are being left out of the conversation when it comes to representation.

This year, the Oscars showcased the best of what a prospering film industry that includes Latinos could be, or did it?

UCLA’s “Hollywood Diversity Report 2019” 

The feel-good story of this past awards season was Alfonso Cuaróns’ Oscar-winning film “Roma.” The movie centered on a housekeeper of a middle-class family in Mexico City. Despite high praise, the film received and Cuarón becoming the fifth Mexican in the last six years to win Best Director, the reality for U.S.-born Latinos in Hollywood hasn’t changed.

Latinos account for the largest percent of moviegoers among minorities at 24 percent. Yet when it comes to getting roles, that’s a whole different story. In 2017, Latinos accounted for only 5.2 percent of all roles in the top grossing films. This was hardly an improvement from the previous year which was at 2.7 percent.

When it comes to getting roles on TV shows, it’s the same trend. Latinos accounted for no more than 7 percent of all TV roles when it came to the top shows on broadcast, cable and digital networks.

For those in the industry already, making changes is harder than it looks.

Credit: @StripeyWorm/Twitter

Even when Latino-centered shows like “One Day At A Time” receive critical acclaim, that is rarely enough. This past month news broke that the show has been canceled by Netflix. Despite high praise from critics and fans, the series still has to prove itself.

“We are one of the fastest growing minority groups in country and we are still fighting for our films and scripts to be shown to the world,” independent filmmaker Kenneth Castillo said. “That’s not right.”

Castillo says what’s going on with “One Day At A Time” is an unfortunate thing that proves how even when Latinos create great content, at times it’s still not good enough. “I’ve seen this happen time and time again in Hollywood and we need to have some meaningful dialogue about where as Latinos we stand.”

If Latinos are going to see real progress when it comes to representation, they can’t wait for Hollywood to do it first.

Credit: Reuters/Twitter

There’s no denying that we are entering a new golden age in Mexican cinema with the continued success of Latino directors like Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo Del Toro. But it’s a different story when it comes to U.S.-born Latino directors and actors.

There have been just a handful of U.S.-born directors and actors to break into mainstream success. Statistics also show studios take less chances on Latino-focused films and shows.

Representation is important when it comes to how one sees themselves and how the world perceives them as. As the largest growing minority group in the U.S., Latinos should be near the top of most film studios and getting major roles. But that’s anything but the truth. So this all begs the question, where and how do we see change?

If Latinos are going to see make any progress when it comes to more representation, they’re going to have to do it themselves. Castillo says that Latinos can’t wait for Hollywood to open the gate for more opportunities.

“We have to create our own stories and narratives in this country,” Castillo said. “Grab a camera, write that script and share your own story that Hollywood will never get to tell.”

READ: Latinos Are Still Waiting For Their Own Movie Moment As Hollywood Tries Casting More Diverse Films

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Entertainment

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

Last week we talked about diversity, a word that reminds us that there is no “one way” to be Latinx. Also, that being diverse, or different, can be fun!

As we know, Latinos come in a variety of forms, from Black to white, tall to short.

Giphy.com

Some of us have Indigenous backgrounds or ones that come from Africa or Europe.

We can also have different beliefs.

Latinos practice a variety of religions, from Islam to Buddhism to Christianity.

This week on “Elena of Avalor” Elena learns that Latinos can also be Jewish.

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

During the episode “Festival of Lights” Elena comes to the rescue and saves the shipwrecked Princess Rebecca, her brother Prince Ari, and their grandmother Bubbie.

She also learns that her new friends are Jewish and from the Latino Jewish kingdom of Galonia.

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

Even though her new friends are far from home, Elena helps them to celebrate their beloved holiday of Hanukkah. Doing this teaches Elena about Jewish traditions which include games like dreidel and food like brisket.

Elena also gets to eat yummy chocolate coins called gelt.

SElena of Avalor / Netflix

She even learns that Princess Ari’s family cherishes a lampstand, called a menorah.

But the best part of this episode is that Elena realizes that Latinos can be different from each other too.

That’s a pretty beautiful thing!

Korean Dark Comedy ‘Parasite’ Becomes The First Non-English Language Movie To Win The Oscar For Best Picture

Entertainment

Korean Dark Comedy ‘Parasite’ Becomes The First Non-English Language Movie To Win The Oscar For Best Picture

parasitemovie / Instagram

The Academy Awards last night brought many surprise wins and losses. “Parasite,” a Korean dark comedy about the class struggle in South Korea, swept with four major awards. The movie took home the Oscar for Best Director, Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, and the most sought after Best Picture. The night was history-making as “Parasite” is the first non-English language movie to win Best Picture.

Director Bong Joon-ho made history last night with his film “Parasite.”

“Parasite” was competing for the award against “1917,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “The Irishman,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Director Bong Joon-ho made history with his film. “Parasite” is the first-ever non-English language film to win the award for Best Picture. There have only been 11 non-English movies nominated for Best Picture out of the 563 that have been nominated in the Academy’s history. The award is the only one where all Academy members are allowed to cast a vote for and is presented to the producers of the film. Last year’s winner was “Green Book.”

The unexpected and welcomed victory is an important moment in Oscar’s history and people are taking notice.

In a time when certain voices are being oppressed, the elevation of these kinds of stories and communities is important. Representation matters and film is one way we can show other cultures and participate in major cultural conversations.

Compared to the rest of the movies nominated for Best Picture, “Parasite” had the lowest production budget.

Credit: @NorbertElekes / Twitter

The film, which cost about $11 million to produce, became Bong Joon-ho’s first film to gross over $100 million worldwide. The movie earned $167.6 million worldwide with $35.5 million made in the U.S.

“I feel like a very opportune moment in history is happening right now,” producer Kwak Sin Ae said through a translator.

The historic moment has angered some people who wish the award went to an American film.

Credit: @jakeh91283 / Twitter

Earlier during the award season, Bong Joon-ho stated that the Best Picture award was a local award. The statement, which caught everyone’s attention, was an unintentional drag of the Academy while also painting an honest picture of the award’s history.

The U.S. is how to the largest Korean diaspora community in the world. Around 2.2 million people in the U.S. identify as being of Korean descent. The Korean community makes up about 0.7 percent of the U.S. population. South Koreans make up 99 percent of those with Korean heritage living in the U.S.

Yet, a larger chorus of voices are praising the film and celebrating the historic win.

Credit: @allouttacain / Twitter

What do you think about “Parasite” winning the Oscar for Best Picture?

READ: Awkwafina Became The First Asian-American Woman To Win A ‘Best Actress’ Award, But People Are Still Mad At The Golden Globes—Here’s Why