Who is the most popular Latino or Latina currently on television? I’ll wait.
Don’t worry. It was also a difficult question for me to answer. I don’t know the answer! And that’s coming from someone who also studied Mexican American Studies along with her journalism degree. This is why there is much credibility to UCLA’s new report that suggests Latinos (Latinx) continue to be underrepresented on television. When thinking about it, the first Latinx on television that came to mind was Selena Gomez. But even though she had an important role on television, she does not have an active role. That is why it is important to review the findings of the report.
Latinx representation on television
The UCLA report analyzed data for 461 scripted shows across 50 television programs in the categories of job placement, television ratings, and social media engagement scores. It found that Latinx actors stood represented at just 6.3% in broadcast television, 5.7% for cable television, and 5.5% for digital media. According to the report, only 3.9% were cast in main roles in cable television. Only 4.7% were cast in main roles on digital programming.
With platforms like Hulu and Netflix being as successful as ever, why are Latinx actors not being considered for more roles? The same report indicated that Latinx directors were responsible for 5.4% of broadcast shows, 3.5% cable shows, 3% of digital shows.
Even with the advancement in pop culture and social standards, one can take away that diverse content is still desperately needed in Hollywood.
In response to the report Joaquin Castro, U.S. Congressman for Texas said in a statement, “this UCLA report clearly demonstrates that more work is necessary to achieve more accurate representation and truly authentic portrayals in American television. I hope this report encourages entertainment executives to reevaluate their systems for recruiting, retaining, and promoting Latinx talent, work in earnest to make changes, and create a more inclusive culture.”
What do you think about Latinx representation on television? Do you agree with the report? Sound off in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.