Television Is Portraying Immigrant People Of Color As Criminals At A Much Higher Rate Than Their White Counterparts

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The Opportunity Agenda, a non-profit social justice communication lab, released a new study that looked at the way immigrants of color are represented in mainstream television.

According to the study, between April 2014 and June 2016, Latinx immigrants were the group of people most likely to be part of a storyline that included “unlawful activity” or incarceration. The study broke down the data to show that 50 percent of Latinx immigrant characters were portrayed committing unlawful acts, compared to 33 percent of black immigrants, 25 percent of Muslim immigrants, and 9 percent of white immigrants.

“For many TV viewers, shows are their primary source of knowledge about these fellow Americans. And even for people who have personal experience with diverse communities, the repeated drumbeat of similar, often-problematic depictions shapes conscious and subconscious perceptions,” Alan Jenkins, executive director of The Opportunity Agenda, told Forbes.

The study also finds that Latinx immigrant characters are the least likely to be leading or recurring characters in television shows. They are, however, more likely to be non-recurring and minor characters.

You can read the full study here to learn more.

(H/T: Forbes)


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